New Delhi | Terming the execution of Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon as miscarriage of justice, CPI(M) today demanded stringent action against those responsible for the 1992 riots in the western metropolis, saying these communal incidents were a causative factor for the blasts. Law has taken its course in the Yakub case.
But the same determination should be shown for other cases as well to maintain unity and sovereignty of the country, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said here. Referring to the Justice Srikrishna Committee report on the communal riots and the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai, he said it has pointed out that the blasts were the result of the communal incidents after the Babri Masjid demolition.
The Srikrishna panel report clearly states that the communal riots in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition were the causative factor for the blasts in Mumbai, he said. The report has also said that the Memon family suffered extensively in these riots. Foreign powers used them to carry out the blasts.
Yakub was hanged because of the Mumbai blasts, but then what action has been taken against those responsible for the communal violence in Mumbai and elsewhere after the Babri Masjid demolition, the CPI(M) leader asked. The justice delivery system must not only be impartial, but should be seen to be impartial so as to retain the people’s confidence in it, Yechury said.
He charged the government with going slow in the Hindutva terrorism cases like Malegaon or Samjhauta Express blasts or in the case of (former Gujarat Minister) Maya Kodnani (an accused in the 2002 Gujarat riots case). This is not delivery of justice. … Justice must be equal to all. If you are bringing to justice one side, the other side should not be ignored.
The justice delivery system must rise above partiality, the CPI(M) leader said. Observing that terror had no religion, he said Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic, Indira Gandhi was shot dead by a Sikh fanatic and and Rajiv Gandhi by the LTTE. So terrorism is not confined to one religion or region. In an editorial in the CPI(M) organ ‘People’s Democracy’, Politburo member Prakash Karat said the execution of Yakub Memon is a miscarriage of justice.
While Yechury said India should join over 100 nations which have abolished death penalty, his Lok Sabha colleague Mohd Salim said former President APJ Abdul Kalam was also in favour of abolition of death sentence and the government should not bury his thoughts with him.
Yechury also referred to a study by students of the National Law University of cases where death sentences have been implemented and said it points out that most of those executed belong to the marginalised sections of our society.
In his editorial, CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat termed Yakub’s execution as a miscarriage of justice, saying there is no other way to describe the hanging of a man when there were strong mitigating circumstances to commute his sentence. Noting that Yakub was certainly guilty of a crime, Karat said he was singled out for disproportionate punishment because his brother Tiger Memon, the main conspirator along with Dawood Ibrahim eluded the law.
Maintaining that Afzal Guru was hanged in March 2013, Karat said the Supreme Court had last year commuted death sentences in some major terrorist cases, including for three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar who was sentenced to death for a terrorist blast, as there was strong political backing for commuting their sentences in Tamilnadu and Punjab respectively.
The blood lust displayed by the BJP, Shiv Sena and others with regard to those accused of terrorism is selective. We are seeing how cases involving Hindutva terrorism Ajmer Sharief, Malegaon and Samjhauta Express blasts are being scuttled with official connivance. Leave alone the death penalty, it is doubtful if any of the Hindutva terrorists will be convicted even, Karat said in the editorial.
Condemning the Gurdaspur terror strike, the CPI(M) leader also said that the Akali Dal-BJP coalition’s brand of communal politics is also contributing to vitiating the atmosphere.
In Jammu and Kashmir too, the communal divide between the valley and Jammu has grown and there are attempts to intensify militancy in the valley. All this is making the entire region vulnerable to communal tensions and terrorist activities, Karat said.
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