The Social Democratic Party of India-SDPI has questioned the double standard in the case of 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts convict Yaqub Memon who is to be hanged on July 30, 2015. The party has urged the government to commute the death penalty to life sentence for if carried out it would not serve the interests of justice.
SDPI national president A. Sayeed in a statement said that it is unfortunate that the Supreme Court has refused to reconsider his execution and rejected his curative petition. While Yaqub Memon is to be hanged for being a relative of Tiger Memon on the other hand Bal Thackeray who sponsored the 1992 Mumbai riots following the demolition of Babri Masjid was given a state funeral. About 900 persons died in the riots in December 1992 and 10 days in January 1993. The riots left no area and no class of Muslims untouched.

Sayeed pointed out that Justice B. N. Srikrishna’s report, submitted in 1998, created waves like no other commission of inquiry report had because it named Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray as the man who directed the violence in the January 1993 phase of the riots. Thackeray was the “remote control” of the then Maharashtra government when Justice Srikrishna submitted his report. The commission also indicted the Mumbai police force as communal and indicted 31 policemen, including a former additional police commissioner of Mumbai Ram Deo Tyagi.

He said that it should be noted that those scheduled to hang for two other crimes, the assassinations of Rajiv Gandhi and Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, have not yet been hanged. Three of Rajiv’s assassins — Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan — had their death sentences commuted after the Tamil Nadu assembly asked for mercy. Beant’s assassin Balwant Singh Rajaona has proudly acknowledged his guilt and has in fact been demanding that he be hanged, but has been kept alive, perhaps also due to the efforts of the Punjab state assembly.

It looks unfair that government is trying to wreck vengeance on the members of the Memon family, who chose to surrender because of faith in our government and judiciary. He said Yaqub was singled out for the death sentence while the main perpetrators are at large. There is ample evidence that the main culprits have escaped the law with the help of agencies across the border.

Sayeed stated that there are many in the country who feel that Yaqub Memon should not be hanged. This is a perfectly valid argument because all the guilty in 1984 Sikh massacre and 2002 Gujarat riots have not been punished. Instead of hanging, solitary confinement for remaining years of his natural life would meet the ends of justice.