No death penalty even for terrorists, says Shashi Tharoor

Unfazed by criticism, former union minister Shashi Tharoor today opposed death penalty even for terrorists saying it was an "obsolete practice" and they should instead be put behind bars for the rest of their lives without parole.

By: PTI | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: August 2, 2015 8:02 pm
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Unfazed by criticism, former union minister Shashi Tharoor today opposed death penalty even for terrorists saying it was an “obsolete practice” and they should instead be put behind bars for the rest of their lives without parole.

“Terrorists should be put behind bars throughout their life without parole. In earlier days, there was a belief that if a person murders someone, he should be killed. Why do we need to follow the old obsolete practice…,” the Congress MP said.

“When we implement capital punishment, we are actually acting like them. They are the murderers and the state should not act like them,” the Congress MP told reporters here on the sidelines of a function, organised by ‘Tree Walk’, an environmental organisation.

On the recent controversy over his tweet on the execution of Mumbai terror attack convict Yakub Memon, he said: “I have not said a word on Memon case. What I tweeted was that I was not going into the merits of an individual case and it was the responsibility of the Supreme Court. I had tweeted against the death penalty which is an obsolete practice.”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon had also said that “we don’t have the right to take anyone’s life.”

The Congress MP from Thiruvanathapuram said not only he, but several leaders, including Sitaram Yechury, D Raja, Kanimozhi, Shatrughan Sinha and Varun Gandhi had also supported the abolition of death penalty.

“As many as 143 countries have already abandoned the practice of death penalty. Another 25 countries are not practising it though the capital punishment is there in their law. Only around 35 countries are practising it at present. Why should our country follow such a practice?,” Tharoor asked.

Tharoor had earlier faced BJP’s ire for saying that he was “saddened” by the news that “our government has hanged a human being. State-sponsored killing diminishes us all by reducing us to murderers too”.

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  1. Haradhan Mandal
    Aug 2, 2015 at 4:40 pm
    Death Penalty is abolished in those countries normally, where crime rate is VIRTUALLY ZERO. People don't feel insecure in many many neighborhoods of those countries. Death penalty is not deterrent - agreed. Death penalty awarded to a criminal, convicted in ghastly and serial murders, rapes and murders, brings a psychological faith and trust of the ordinary people in the system and the Law enforcement force/system. But they should consider the social/financial background of the person, whether he or his family could provide adequate legal defense for him. That should be in the minds of the judges, as ,often, the police and the prosecution build up fabricated cases - specially in cases, which get immense publicity/media trial in the media. But the provision to pardon and commute a death sentence should be removed all together from the Governors/President - but in rarest cases. it may be given to a Jury - consisted of eminent persons (legal and Human rights activists), nominated by President only (and not MHA) and that should be final. In some cases - a person may be granted 'suspended' death sentence - commuted to Life imprisonment - like that in many countries. For terrorists (specially overseas/across the western border and their Indian accomplices inside the border) - they should be shot dead - one in the lungs, next in the head and the final one in the heart from a short range.
    1. P
      Aug 2, 2015 at 7:35 pm
      There are many pressing issues facing country such as poverty, health & sanitation,rather than concentrating on these,the author is indulging in a futile debate.first make the justice fast and effective so that people have faith in it,it will also instill fear of law in them.Pmp
      1. Devi Prasad
        Aug 2, 2015 at 7:38 pm
        Governments should prevent terrorism. But they can't succeed all the time as the criminals are always ahead of law. So, why forget Victims of terrorism? Is it not time to speak about the need to do justice to the Victims of terrorist activities? Such activities could have turned able men and women to live as orphans, widows, blind, lame, dumb, mentally unstable or destro many families with the burden of medical bill or lost savings !! Who will speak for them?
        1. Pratapnarain Kumar
          Aug 2, 2015 at 6:30 pm
          I do not like killing on any form. Not even animal sacrifices But I do not admire people who do Not raise voices in favour of innocent prople killed and people who died Protecting us.
          1. S
            Saradha Sankar
            Aug 2, 2015 at 4:01 pm
            Mr.Tharoor is being idealistic when he says this.Even Jesus said that if someone slaps you on one cheek show him the other.hiji said that an eye for an eye makes the w world blind.However we are neither Christ nor Mahatma.If you show compion to heartless terrorists it will embolden him. He will consider it as weakness. Secondly individual dharma is different from Rajdharma .The state has the duty to protect its subjects.Tharoor is somewhat confused about morality and pragmatism.strength is life and weakness is death.
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