Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
Why Yakub Memon's religion has no role to play in his punishment

Author: Gaurav C Sawant
Publication: Dailyo.in
Date: July 16, 2015
URL: http://www.dailyo.in/politics/yakub-memon-1993-mumbai-serial-blasts-dawood-ibrahim-tiger-memon-muslims-babri-mosque-maharashtra-sc-july-21-30/story/1/5016.html

This kind of thinking is not just flawed but very dangerous.

* Is Yakub Memon being hanged because he is a Muslim?

* Will Yakub Memon's hanging send a wrong signal to the Muslim community?

* Mumbai blasts followed the riots in Mumbai where Muslims were targeted. Can it be seen as a mitigating factor following the action-reaction story?

Some of the statements and commentary in public domain is extremely distressing if not downright sinister.

Who is Yakub Memon? Why is he facing the gallows?

A Mumbai-based chartered accountant by profession, Yakub Memon is the younger brother of Tiger Memon, one of the masterminds of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts which claimed the lives of 257 innocent Indians and left over 700 injured. Thirteen bombs ripped through Mumbai on March 12, 1993.

Yakub Memon was convicted for financing and managing funds for the 1993 blasts conspiracy. Joining the dots the investigators said Yakub Memon arranged for air tickets for the youth to travel to Pakistan for training in making improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and made arrangements for their food and stay. He has also been linked with purchasing the vehicles that were used for planting bombs.

A division bench comprising justice P Sathasivam and justice BS Chauhan confirming the death sentence on Yakub Memon said he and other members of the Memon family had played a predominant role in the execution of the conspiracy that led to 13 serial blasts in Mumbai leaving 257 dead and 713 injured.

"Essentially Yakub Memon's deeds can't be viewed distinct from the act of Tiger Memon, hence both owe an equivalent responsibility for the blasts. They were the architects of the blasts, without whom the plan would never have seen the daylight," said the Hon'ble court.

The bench also observed that there was no direct act attributed to Yakub Memon as far as parking of the explosive filled vehicle in different localities are concerned. But we should recollect, that if not for the planning of the conspirators for which Yakub Memon was a party too, the explosives and ammunition required for the execution wouldn't have entered into our country and as a consequence the execution itself wouldn't have materialised.

And that is not all. The court also said that it is not conceivable to envisage that these principal perpetrators will take the execution in their hands. So they targeted the meek souls who were under privileged and easily impressible to accomplish their ulterior motive. It is also a proved fact that the Memon's family members including Yakub Memon have fled the country anticipating detention for their illegal acts.

The Supreme Court in its wisdom found Yakub Memon's "dominant position" as an aggravating factor giving him the status of direct responsibility. Yakub Memon's commanding position and the crime of utmost gravity warranted capital punishment.

Now I want to ask the worthies protesting - Is Yakub Memon facing the gallows because of his religion or his actions? The places that were chosen for the blasts - Century Bazar, Zaveri Bazar, Katha Bazar, Stock Exchange building - were because a large number of people gathered there. The court said the manner of execution of the blasts and its design would put it at the level of extreme atrocity and cruelty.

So if such a man who was part of Pakistan's ISI's evil plan to destabilise India and kill its innocent citizens faces the long arm of the law - is it because of his religion or his actions? And will punishing such a man for his deeds send a wrong signal to the Muslim community?

People who talk like this clearly are not well-wishers of the Muslims in India. Will people of India want a man's punishment to be decided on the basis of his or her religion? Or on the basis of the magnitude of the crime? If today Muslims feel offended if a Muslim is hanged for terror, will we be willing to look the other way for Hindus or Christians or Sikhs so that members of those communities do not feel victimised? This kind of thinking is not just flawed but very dangerous.

I am not even getting into the merits and demerits of the sinister argument of action and reaction - Mumbai blasts happened because Muslims were victims in the riots that followed the demolition of the Babri Mosque structure. How much will we stretch this flawed argument? Does that mean Muslims who were killed in Gujarat in the 2002 riots were because Kar sevaks were burnt alive in the Sabarmati Express? Or eight thousand innocent Sikhs were killed across India because then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated?

Terror and riots can and should never be justified. India as a democracy must follow due process of law and accept the majesty of the Supreme Court. It is not that Yakub Memon did not get the benefit of due process of law of the land. He challenged the apex court verdict, approached the president with a mercy plea and it is only after exhausting all options that the Maharashtra government is making arrangements for the execution based on court orders by July 30.

Yakub Memon has a curative petition in the Supreme Court and the matter comes up on July 21. The nation must respect the supremacy of courts and procedures and instead of attempting to create a rift and vitiate the social fabric of the country, attempt to ensure youth are weaned away from the path of terror instead of feeding their fears. This is a must for a strong united India.
«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements