Yaqub’s Fate

Yaqub does not deserve to be hanged, said late B Raman counter-terror officer who led operation of bringing back Yaqub Memon from Pakistan via Nepal in his article. Before his death, as a reasonable citizen he wrote, “I decided to write this in the belief that it is important to prevent a person, who in my view, does not deserve to be hanged.” The court had awarded death penalty to Yaqub. Mercy petition of Yaqub was rejected by the President of India. What every Indian believes is justice under Constitution of India. Yaqub claimed  that he was not provided enough time to fight his case. There is not much difference between a lifer and hanging, but the former would have been accepted by the majority of the population. Constitution guarantees justice to its citizens. On the basis of cases of Beant Singh’s killer Rojana and Rajiv Gandhi’s killers verdict could be changed on humantarian grounds. Minorties are of the view that, the cases of Sadhvi Pragya Singh, Aseemanand and Col. Purohit are taken lightly by courts as well as different investigation agencies. Though the Constitution doesn’t provide any prefential status to any person. Yaqub had provided important information and cooperated with investigators.

Going back in the history of India, there has been a series of outbreak of violence of a communal and political nature and  land and water-related rights of minorities. We have lost lives in large numbers. Pre-independence violence was managed in an efficient manner. In post- independence India violence has become unmanageable, particularly when there is a communal riot. People at the helm of affairs have not dispensed their duties while tackling the situation after the riot violence. Minorities, particularly Muslims, have faced the organised violence of mobs in collision with the state. Every attrocity faced was forgotten by the Muslim community in the hope to build and develop this nation. But fundamentalists and selfish people have deceived the community for their personal gains.

Worst violent episodes in post-Independence India like atrocities on Sikhs in 1984, demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 and Ayodhya-relatd violence in 1992-1993 have put strains on relations of between communities. Life was coming on track when Gujarat riots were staged under a conspiracy. We find justice denied to Muslims of Muzaffarnagar riots, also staged under a conspiracy. We got nothing out of it except division. Communal forces are spreading hatred against the Muslim community.

The hanging of Yaqub Memon is only selective justice as long as the killers of 900 Muslims in Mumbai (before the blasts) roam free and the killers of 2,000 Muslims in Gujarat-2002 like Maya Kodnani and Babu Bajrangi are out of jail, instead of on gallows.

Mir Mukhtar Ahmad