Hangings in the country may well have a Chennai connection, so to say. The rope which takes away the convict’s life is invariably from here.

For almost all hangings, the coir called ‘Manila Kayiru,’ goes from Chennai, says V. Kannadasan, an advocate and human rights activist who visits prisons as counsel for the State Legal Aid Services Authority. This has been the usual practice for some time. The rope is usually obtained a week prior to the hanging; but the exact place from where it is purchased is not known. It is 25 mm thick. For every hanging, four ropes are purchased for testing purposes to ensure that the coir would withstand one-and-a-half times the weight of the death convict. Later, one rope is used for hanging. Usually, the length of the rope for a person who weighs less is more and it is vice-versa for a heavier person so that the noose grip is tight, Mr. Kannadasan says. The weight and measurement of the neck is taken regularly for a few days prior to the execution, he says.