In all 682 persons, including 2008 Mumbai terror attack case convict Ajmal Kasab, were executed worldwide in 2012, which is two more than such executions carried out in 2011.

Releasing the global annual report on death penalty-2012, the Amnesty International (AI) has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to “take immediate steps to commute all death sentences to terms of imprisonment and abolish the death penalty in India.”

The international human rights organisation said it was “troubled by the arbitrary, flawed and biased use of capital punishment in India.”

On an average once in three days the death penalty was awarded as punishment in India, it claimed.

The report said China once again executed thousands of people than the rest of the world put together, but due to the secrecy surrounding the use of the death penalty in the country it was not possible to obtain accurate figures on the use of capital punishment there.

At least 1,722 newly imposed death sentences in 58 countries could be confirmed in 2012, compared to 1,923 in 63 countries in 2011.

Despite some disappointing setbacks in 2012, the trend towards ending the death penalty continued, it said. The year saw the resumption of executions in countries that had not used the death penalty for some time, notably India, Japan, Pakistan and Gambia, as well as an alarming escalation in executions in Iraq.