Hanging Yakub Memon Will Not Serve The Interests Of Justice

The CPI(ML) Liberation urges the President of India to accept the mercy petition of Yakub Memon, in the interests of justice. Hanging Yakub Memon will not provide justice for the victims, and punish the real perpetrators of the heinous bomb blasts of 1993 that killed 257 people.

Yakub Memon and his family could have lived their life in exile, but instead they chose to return to India to stand trial and assist the process of justice in India. As the only witness available in 1993 blast case, Yakub Memon willingly provided the Indian authorities with vital information. By hanging Memon, India would send a message that those accused of crimes should opt for exile rather than submission to trial and cooperation with justice, since the latter will be rewarded with death.

The evidence that exists against Yakub Memon (the statement of an approver and retracted confessions of co-accused) suggests at best a peripheral role in the Mumbai blast conspiracy. Hanging Yakub Memon for crimes committed by his family members even as death sentences issued against his co-accused have been commuted will be grossly disproportionate and vindictive.

Yakub Memon has already spent 21 years in jail including several years of solitary confinement. Indeed, the case of Yakub Memon is a powerful argument to persuade India to scrap the death penalty like most democracies in the world have already done.

The 1993 Mumbai blasts were a heinous crime. So were the 1992-93 communal riots of Mumbai that killed 900 people. But the Indian justice system has not treated both crimes on par. Several of the perpetrators of the blasts have been punished with life sentences. But the perpetrators of the riots – including prominent politicians and policemen who have been identified by judicial commissions – have gone scot free, and some of them have even been elected to posts of power. Like the masterminds of the 1993 blasts, the masterminds and main perpetrators of the 1992-1993 riots should be brought to justice and punished.

- Dipankar Bhattacharya

General Secretary, CPI(ML) Liberation

Liberation Archive