[Reader-list] Fwd: [pudr-info] WHY YAKUB MEMON SHOULD NOT BE HANGED

Nagraj Adve nagraj.adve at gmail.com
Tue Jul 28 01:33:38 CDT 2015

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: People's Union for Democratic Rights <pudrdelhi at gmail.com>
Date: 28 July 2015 at 11:56
To: activist at pudr.org
Cc: pudr-info at pudr.org, cdro at pudr.org



28th July 2015

After the Supreme Court rejected Yakub Memon’s curative petition on 21st
July 2015, Memon has filed a mercy petition before the Governor and also a
validity plea before the apex court. Many believe that he is cleverly using
the system to buy time. Against those who are baying for his blood, it is
important to remember that there are, arguably, very good reasons why he
should not be hanged:

It has been reiterated by many that the facts of the case show that Memon’s
role in triggering the Mumbai blasts of 1993 can, at best, be described as
peripheral. To define him as the chief conspirator is quite extraordinary
and a fitting reminder of the fact that judgments on terror cases are text
book lessons on how majoritarian sentiments are defended through a partisan
study of investigations. Yakub’s impending punishment is the satisfaction
that India needs in order to punish those it cannot: his brother, Tiger
Memon, and Dawood Ibrahim. Why else would Ujjwal Nikam, the Special Public
Prosecutor, say that that the dismissal of the curative is “historic and
would send a strong signal to the people in the country and across the
border that guilty would not be spared”? But then, Mr Nikam is a fine
fabricator who “concocted” Ajmal Kasab’s demand for mutton biriyani before
his execution in order to halt the “emotional” wave against the hanging.

It is patently clear that ‘terror’ has been defined to suit the nationalist
political belief which holds that only the minorities and the marginalized
participate in such attacks. Naturally, these attacks are against the
majority. The BJP has understandably welcomed the dismissal of Yakub’s
petition by the Supreme Court as an example of how “terror has no place in
our society”. Needless to say, the same criminal justice system which has
punished Yakub works very differently in cases of ‘saffron terror’. Most
recently, Mr Randhir Singh, one of the key witnesses in the Ajmer blasts
(2007) case, retracted his statement; and he did so after he defected to
the BJP from the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik). Now he is part of
the BJP run government in Jharkhand. Equally, while the RSS ideologue,
Rakesh Mishra, defended the retraction of 13 witnesses in the Ajmer blasts
as “All these cases are a political conspiracy against the RSS”, Rohini
Salian , the Special Public Prosecutor into the Malegaon case, said that
since the government changed, she was asked to “go soft” on the case by an
NIA official. Terror cases are political cases and the decision on who is
the guilty depends upon the politics of the case. For those who believe
that hanging Yakub Memon is desirable as it will validate the resolve,
“[the] guilty will not be spared”, it is imperative for them to recognize
that such guilt has been redefined by silencing and rejecting the findings
of the Srikrishna Commission’s report into the riots that preceded the
serial blasts for which Yakub is being hanged.

It is against this definition of terror that one must speak up and stop
this hanging. One has to assert that Yakub’s right to life cannot be taken
away as hanging him for his supposed crime committed 22 years ago is not
justice; it is vengeance. One has to speak against the irrevocability of
death penalty as Yakub’s trial and punishment have left behind a trail of
doubts and misgivings. One has to recall what B. Raman, the RAW chief who
was instrumental in securing Yakub’s arrest, had told the Rediff editor in
2007:  that the “promise given by serving officers who represent a
sovereign State is non-negotiable, and that the “system should uphold what
is promised by representatives of the sovereign State.” One has to
emphasize that a person cannot be punished twice; that 21 years of
incarceration cannot be compounded with another and extreme punishment, of
death penalty. One has to highlight the fact that as a death row prisoner,
Yakub has suffered tremendous mental agony. One has to protest this
impending hanging as it is a glorified murder of a defenceless man who will
be forced to walk to the gallows in the midst of a reprehensible drama
surrounding his “last day” and his “last wishes”.

PUDR urges that this hanging be stopped immediately and demands the
abolition of death penalty.

Megha Bahl and Sharmila Purkayastha

Secretaries, PUDR


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