Bengaluru: A collective of Karnataka-based Muslim organisations including, Mission Possible for Justice & Rights (MPJR), Karnataka Muslim Muttahida Mahaz (KMMM), Discover Islam Education Trust (DIET), All India Dawah Centres Association (AIDCA) and Karnataka Muslim Muttahida Tehreek (KMMT) today urged the Centre not to hang 1993 Mumbai blast death row convict Yakub Memon.
Addressing the press here, Mr. Umar Shariff, president of DIET said that, “Yakub Memon has already spent around 22 years behind the bars for the role which has not even been clearly or convincingly established. He or his family should not be punished for the alleged crimes of his brother”.
Referring to the view of the late head of the counter-terrorism division of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) B Raman, who had favoured clemency for Yakub Memon on the ground that he had cooperated with investigating agencies and does not deserve to be hanged, Syed Shafiullah of Janatal Dal (Secular) urged the government to commute the death penalty to life sentence, for if carried out, it would not serve the interests of justice.
He also presented former Supreme Court judge Justice (Retd.) Markandey Katju, who last week said that the evidence on which Memon has been found guilty is “very weak”, and there has been “gross travesty of justice” in the case.
Syed Mohammed Iqbal, general secretary of the Karnataka Muslim Muttahida Mahaz, questioned what he termed as ‘double standard’ practiced in the decision to hang Menon.
“Justice B N Srikrishna’s report, submitted in 1998, had named Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray as the man who directed the violence in the January 1993 phase of the riots, which claimed the lives of over 900 innocent people, yet he was given a state funeral. He pointed out that those scheduled to hang for two other crimes, the assassinations of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, have not yet been hanged. All we are asking is to give Memon the same clemency that these people have been granted.”
The organisation stated that there many in the country, including the Communist Party of India (Marxist), CPI, MDMK and others, who feel feel that Yaqub Memon should not be hanged.