War of words: Digvijaya, Tharoor speak up against hanging, BJP hits back

The BJP hit out at Congress leaders Digvijaya Singh and Shashi Tharoor over their reactions to the hanging of Yakub Memon, saying their comments were "insult" to the people wanting to get rid of terrorism.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: July 31, 2015 2:58 am
Yakub Memon, Ajmal Kasab, capital punishment, mumbai 1993 blast, 1993 mumbai blast, terrorism, india news, news Kasab’s mercy petition was rejected by the President on November 5, 2012 and he was hanged at Pune’s Yerwada Jail on November 21, 2012.

The BJP has hit out at Hours after the legal battle ended and 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon was hanged, the political battle began as the Congress and BJP engaged in a war or words.

Stating that the government and judiciary had shown “exemplary urgency and commitment” in Yakub’s case, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said: “I hope similar commitment of government and judiciary will be shown in all cases of terror, irrespective of their caste, creed and religion.”

His statement was seen as a reference to the “Hindu terror” cases. “I have my doubts… the way the cases of other terror accused are being conducted. Let’s see… the credibility of the government and judiciary is at stake,” said Singh.

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Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said he was “saddened by the news” of Yakub’s hanging and spoke against capital punishment. “State-sponsored killing diminishes us all by reducing us to murderers too… There is no evidence that death penalty serves as a deterrent. To the contrary, in fact, all it does is exact retribution… unworthy of a government,” he said.

“We must fight against terrorism with all the means at our command. But cold-blooded execution has never prevented a terror attack anywhere. I’m not commenting on the merits of a specific case: that’s for the Supreme Court to decide. The problem is death penalty, in principle and practice,” he said.

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Hitting back at the Congress, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the “irresponsible statements… with regard to the punishment given to the accused of the 1993 Mumbai blasts… raises a cause of concern… we expect Sonia Gandhi to clarify before the nation.”

Meanwhile, injecting a religion angle, Singh tweeted: “What a coincidence. Funerals of two Indian Muslims on the same day. Dr (APJ Abdul) Kalam who has made every Indian proud of his achievements for India. And Yakub Memon who has by being associated with those involved in terror brought shame to the whole community.”

The Congress distanced itself from Tharoor and Singh’s remarks, saying these were “individual opinions”. “BJP leaders have also raised it. It doesn’t make it a BJP position. Some people in the Congress have expressed their personal views. That is not the position of the Indian National Congress. We believe in the rule of law. And we believe in justice,” said senior Congress leader Anand Sharma.

“In this particular case also, it has been adjudicated. The due processes of law have been completed. We have always respected the Supreme Court and our high courts…they may take time in the dispensation of justice but finally it is done in a manner that there is no question mark… Nobody can dispute the correctness of our legal system,” he said.

“People have individual views. That does not mean that questions should be asked of the leadership. There are many in the BJP also who have spoken out. Shatrughan Sinha has spoken out, others have spoken out. Are we then demanding answers from Narendra Modi because he is the leader of the BJP parliamentary party. They should think twice before pointing fingers at us,” said Sharma.

Randeep Surjewala, head of the Congress’s communications department, said Ram Jethmalani and Shatrughan Sinha had also made some remarks. “Individuals can have their views. It is neither our opinion, nor can it be the opinion of the ruling party. Their opinion can be personal,” he said, adding that Yakub Memon was given punishment in accordance with the law. “The President dismissed his mercy petition twice. Maharashtra Governor dismissed his mercy petition also. So we see the punishment as a fructification of rule of law and judicial process of the country.”

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  1. A
    Alkesh
    Jul 31, 2015 at 1:22 am
    Doggie should make his available to all Muslims.
    Reply
    1. K
      K.lalal
      Jul 31, 2015 at 10:05 am
      A man who has killed his wife wants clemency and the other who stole some one else's wife also wants clemency! Wah! Wah! Kya Baath Hai!
      Reply
      1. M
        Medavi
        Jul 31, 2015 at 5:04 am
        IT IS NOT NECESSARY FOR THAROOR OR DIGGY TO COMMENT ON THE SUPEREME COURT DECISION. Who asked them for their opinion?BY commenting like this they are making a fool of themselves. Better to spend their energy in talking something useful and constructive for the country.
        Reply
        1. S
          Sri
          Jul 30, 2015 at 6:45 pm
          Sir I don't want to hurt u.plz correct 7 lakh hang during independent movements out them only 165 related to Congress and 79 Muslim.
          Reply
          1. T
            Tm
            Jul 30, 2015 at 10:54 pm
            Why don't you ever publish the comments that are being slammed? You think every one is reading Twitter accounts of all being slammed by someone else?
            Reply
            1. D
              dayfordeal
              Jul 30, 2015 at 10:21 pm
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            2. A
              ak dev
              Jul 31, 2015 at 12:13 am
              On one side you want equal treatment and on other side you don't accept that your forefathers were Hindus. You can't have and it too.
              Reply
              1. A
                ak dev
                Jul 31, 2015 at 12:09 am
                People made all religions and invented the different GODs. Original religion was living with nature.
                Reply
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