news Thursday, July 30, 2015 - 05:30
Declared guilty of playing his part in the 1993 Mumbai blasts, Yakub Abdul Rezak Memon was hanged to death on July 30, the same day he was born in 1962. The Mumbai blasts claimed the lives of 275 people. While there has been outrage and a call for Memon to be punished for his part in the killings, there have been those who have said that the death-penalty is unwarranted and that a state should not take a life. Both the big political parties have by-and-large gone by popular sentiment.  The BJP and the Congress have come out in support of the hanging or rather 'justice delivered to victims'. While the former is in power, the latter was leading the government when Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru were hanged.  There have been voices of dissent though. Congress MP Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter and blasted the death penalty. The party distanced himself from his view though and he tweeted that it was “one MP’s view”.   There is no evidence that death penalty serves as a deterrent: to the contrary in fact. All it does is exact retribution: unworthy of a Govt — Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) July 30, 2015 We must fight against terrorism w/all the means at our command. But cold-blooded execution has never prevented a terror attack anywhere.     — Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) July 30, 2015 I'm not commenting on the merits of a specific case: that's for the Supreme Court to decide. Problem is death penalty in principle&practice     — Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) July 30, 2015 . @AnandKochukudy Agree totally. But i don't claim to an official representative of my party on the media or on this question. One MP's view     — Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) July 30, 2015       Digvijay Singh was sarcastic and took a religious angle to the episode and was criticized on Twitter.   Yakub Memon hanged. Exemplary urgency and commitment has been shown by Govt and Judiciary in punishing an accused of Terror . — digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) July 30, 2015 I hope similar commitment of Govt and Judiciary would be shown in all cases of Terror irrespective of their Caste Creed and Religion.     — digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) July 30, 2015 What a coincidence ! Funerals of Two Indian MuslIms on the same day. Dr Kalam who has made every Indian proud of his achievements for India     — digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) July 30, 2015 And Yakub Menon who has by being associated with those involved in terror brought shame to the whole Community.     — digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) July 30, 2015   Some parties bucked the trend however, and took a public stand against capital punishment. The CPI (M) said that the execution would be a “miscarriage of justice”. Joining the CPI (M) were five other political parties including the CPI, MDMK, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK) and Gandhiya Makkal Iyakkam (GMI). Together, the combine issued a statement against the death penalty on Monday. “Capital punishment must be abolished in India. Central government should come forward to rescind the death sentence of Memon as a top official of RAW had said that he should not be hanged since he helped India,” it said. Another party that has condemned capital punishment is the DMK. In a statement, party MP Kanimozhi has said that the “death penalty will always be illogical and inhumane.” “DMK has opposed death penalty in all cases and favours the immediate abolition of this practice. The Party's 2014 Conference in Tiruchi resolved to abolish death penalty as did the Manifesto for Lok Sabha elections that year. We will work towards removing death penalty from statute books. In the upcoming session of Parliament, I will move a Private Members Resolution and Private Members Bill to abolish death penalty,” she added. The Rajya Sabha MP added that over 150 countries in the world had abolished the practice.  “The United Nations General Assembly has repeatedly urged countries to abolish this practice,” she said, adding that the Law Commission of India is consulting on the issue. She urged the government to halt the practice for the time being and had a request for the President. “We also request the President of India to not process mercy petitions until this issue is settled,” she said. Other political parties, including the SP and the BSP supported the hanging too.