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
shashi tharoor, yakub memon, yakub memon hanging, death penalty, terrorists, hanging, yakub, congress, capital punishment, tharoor, latest news, india news Congress leader 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.

“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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    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.
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      Pmp
      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
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        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?
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          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.
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            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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              Rekha joshi
              Aug 2, 2015 at 6:52 pm
              I believe in death penalty.I'm of the view that capital punishment must remain.so that no one dare to committ crime.
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                Rekha joshi
                Aug 2, 2015 at 6:18 pm
                Mr.Tharoor can u give me an example of what u mean?
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                  Rekha joshi
                  Aug 2, 2015 at 6:31 pm
                  One side stupid Tripura Governor trying to gave Rajya Sabha seat to yakub's wife.on the other hand Mr. Tharoor trying to save deceased terrorist.how disgusting.what is going to happen in this country.
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                    Adam Avil
                    Aug 3, 2015 at 10:54 am
                    NOBODYS GOT THE RIGHT TO TAKE ANYONES LIFE. PLS BAN DEATH PENALTY.
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                      Amrita
                      Aug 2, 2015 at 7:04 pm
                      Strongly disagree. There can be absolutely no justification of keeping such individuals alive. I think judicial decisions have to be taken faster so that closure happens earlier post the act of terrorism. It is important to ask those families who lost members to terrorist acts, including the armed forces and the paramilitary. The family unit is never the same. Its easy to offer these intellectual opinions.
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                        Anil
                        Aug 2, 2015 at 5:29 pm
                        I think our politicians do not realise that it takes lot of effort to maintain peace in our country. Even parents resort to punishment if their child does something wrong and its that fear which makes a child follow a correct path and if terrorist come to know in our country they will only be in jail then please wait for other kandhar type release. Common mans blood is also important mr shashi...if u feel so much for these terrorist then all of you give up your security. ..can you???
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                          Rajesh
                          Aug 3, 2015 at 10:23 am
                          Yes, death penalty is bad, unless its for Tharoor's wife.
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                            Sam
                            Aug 3, 2015 at 12:17 pm
                            man he is scarred now. If he is proven guilty in Sunanda's murder he will be hanged. Also wanted to know from Mr. Tharoor about the following - 1. Why should we the TaxPayer penalised for paying the Bill of the Food & Lodging he will enjoy for lifetime in Jail? 2. What will be his course of action if their group abducts some 1 and then ask to release the person kept in jail? 3. what is the gaurantee that he can give that the person jailed will not spread venom from inside the jail?
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                              Biltu
                              Aug 2, 2015 at 4:04 pm
                              DEATH PENALTY SHOULD BE ABOLISHED.
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                                Pushpinder Harsh
                                Aug 28, 2015 at 6:56 am
                                Shri Tharoor, and his ilk, must provide practical answer to a critical problem. A terrorist in jail may lead to IC 814 like hostage situations. What do we do then? Release those killers, for them to continue their mission of destruction? So we should spare the killer, even if lives of scores of innocent people may be placed at risk?
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                                  Damaru Prasad
                                  Aug 2, 2015 at 5:47 pm
                                  Now supposing that whoever says death penalty should be avoided commit suicide themselves out of pain to the hardcore terrorists please!
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                                    disgusted
                                    Aug 2, 2015 at 5:10 pm
                                    Only a cold blooded murderer can sympathize with another cold blooded murderers especially terrorists who kill others without any personal enmity.
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                                      Dinesh Singh
                                      Aug 2, 2015 at 8:45 pm
                                      Yeah and they should be served Biryani for the rest of their life. Mr. Tharoor, one should not save garbage in one's house. Just clean that and dispose it off. Terrorists must not be shown any mercy. any decency. In fact they should not be treated as human beings. They are the stinking trash of of humanity and must be treated like that. Dispose them off as soon as possible
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                                        Dipak
                                        Aug 28, 2015 at 7:46 am
                                        Shashi, the Indian Government should p a law prohibiting any penalty for spouse killing.
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                                          RICHARD DMELLO
                                          Aug 2, 2015 at 5:00 pm
                                          Hang him
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                                            Gopal Sahu
                                            Aug 4, 2015 at 11:27 am
                                            Tharoor’s fallacies 1. “When we implement capital punishment, we are actually acting like them. They are the murderers and the state should not act like them,” -- By the same logic, state is a murder when it kills enemies during war also. What is wrong with "acting like them"? 2. “I have not said a word on Memon case...." -- Then why you are telling now and not during the last several years? 3. “We don’t have the right to take anyone’s life.” -- Then does the terrorist have the right to take not one's life but several lives? 3. "... said not only he, but several leaders, including Sitaram Yechury, D Raja, Kanimozhi, Shatrughan Sinha and Varun hi had also supported the abolition of death penalty.” --- Then what about millions who have supported capital punishment? Are the people named by you are “holy cows”? 4. 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…,” – Are you saying that all older/earlier practices obsolete ones? 5. “As many as 143 countries have already abandoned the practice of death penalty" -- Then what about other countries who follow the law?
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