Press Statements

Popular Front demands stay for Yakub Memon’s death sentence, abolition of death penalty

New Delhi (23 July 2015): Popular Front chairman KM Shareef demanded stay for the Supreme Court enforcement of the death sentence to Yakub Memon while it is yet to prove that he had directly involved in the 1993 Mumbai blast. He said that there is no question that justice has to be done to innocent lives lost in the incident. All those who are involved in blast must be brought to book. But Yakub Memon’s death sentence, like several others’ in the past looks more politically influenced. It raises number of question about double standards in the administration of justice especially as most of accused in anti-Muslim pogroms took place in Mumbai, the incidents that reportedly led to the Mumbai blasts, still remain scot free. Many of the recent executions have been reasonably questioned by Human Rights activists and legal experts alike.

According to a recently published study which has analyzed data from interviews with 373 death row convicts over a 15-year period, three-fourths of those given the death penalty belonged to backward classes, religious minorities and 75% were from economically weaker sections. As many as 93.5% of those who were sentenced to death for terror offences belong to Dalits or religious minorities. The study showed that class or communal bias and the high cost of legal defence have been instrumental in creating this situation. These are the reasons why Popular Front of India is opposed to the idea of death penalty. We demand immediate stay for Yakub Memon’s sentence and a complete abolition of death penalty.

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