Voicing disappointment over the Supreme Court’s refusal to stay the execution of Yakub Memon, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday stuck to his stand that the capital punishment was given to the Mumbai attack accused because he had “no political backing”. Owaisi insisted that though Yakub was involved but did not deserve capital punishment.
“He got capital punishment because the then Congress government led by Prime Minister Narasimha Rao deceived him,” he alleged, adding that there was no political backing for him as was for the accused in former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh assassination cases. “SC and HC have stated that Yakub should be given capital punishment and that is why it is a huge disappointment and setback…. If capital punishment given by the courts of law can bring closure to the innocent victims of the bomb blast then I demand that capital punishment should also be given for the original sin— of destruction and demolition of Babri Masjid,” he said.
He said that even in the Mumbai riots of 1992-93, in which Muslims and Hindus had lost their lives and 900 people were killed, “Only 3 persons were convicted. What about their closure, what about their justice.” Owaisi said that he stands by his statement that capital punishment was given to Yakub Memon because there was no political backing.
“It is for everyone to learn how the Akali Dal has saved the killer of Beant Singh, how both the Tamilian parties have saved the killers of Rajiv Gandhi from being sent to gallows,” he said. Owaisi also asked was it a fact that Yakub had surrendered and he was not arrested. “A person who surrendered and who co-operated in establishing that the real perpetrators were Tiger Memon and ISI is now being sent to gallows,” he rued.
While noting that peace and law and order has to be maintained, he voiced, “surprise and shock” over the Maharashtra police “only calling Muslim leaders and telling them to cooperate.” Co-operation is to be given by each and every segment of the society irrespective of which religion and political affiliation he belongs to. I hope and pray that peace would prevail. But my stand I will take it to my grave that Yakub was involved but he did not deserve capital punishment.”