Political patronage saves criminals in everyday life, and it is said to have saved even some assassins who killed chief minister and even prime minister. Since the 1993 Mumbai blast accused Yakub Memon was awarded death sentence in 2013 and his mercy petitions rejected later, many Muslims have publicly said that Memon met the fate because (one reason) he lacked political backing. Memon was hanged around 7 am today (Thursday) in Nagpur jail for his involvement in the blasts which had killed over 250 people.
Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi last week while addressing a public meeting said killers of Punjab chief minister Beant Singh had political backing and so they were not hanged. He also said that the death sentence of assassins of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was commuted to life sentence only because they had political support in Tamil Nadu. Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Owaisi said Memon was being pushed to gallows as he did not have such political support.
Dr Zafarul Islam Khan, President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat, also thinks that way.
“Yaqub (Yakub Memon) has also been hanged because he lacked the backing of powerful political parties as is the case with the killers of Indira Gandhi or Rajiv Gandhi,” said Dr Khan in an article published today in his English fortnightly The Milli Gazette.
“One more reason is to accelerate communal polarization in the country, on which BJP thrives, and to satisfy the bestial instincts of the lower strata goons who are now the foot-soldiers of the Hindutva politics of hate and revenge,” he said.
Dr Khan, who is Editor of his paper, also asked why the culprits of the 1992-1993 Mumbai riots that preceded the deadly bombings were not punished.
The police and Shiv Sena were involved in the Mumbai 1992-1993 riots and “their heinous roles are well-documented in the Srikrishna report but they roam free and even take part in governments and legislatures as political leaders…” wrote Dr Khan.
It is also pointed out that the culprits of Kandhamal riot in Odhisha were also not punished sternly.
Yakub Memon was handed down death penalty after around two decades of trial.
Background of Yakub Memon’s case
— March 12: Thirteen explosions rock Mumbai killing 257 and injuring 713 others.
— April 19: Actor Sanjay Dutt arrested.
— November 4: 10,000 page-long charge sheet filed against 189 accused, including Dutt.
— November 19: Case handed over to CBI
— April 1: TADA court shifted inside Arthur Road Central Jail premises.
— April 10: 26 accused discharged by the TADA court. SC discharges two more accused – travel agent Abu Asim Azmi and Amjed Meher Baux.
— April 19: Trial commences.
— June 30: Two accused, Mohammed Jameel and Usman Jhankanan, turn approvers.
— October 14: Sanjay Dutt granted bail by Supreme Court.
— March 29: P.D. Kode designated as a special TADA judge for the case.
— October: Examination of 684 prosecution witnesses ends.
— Mar 9 – July 18, 2001: Accused record their statements
— August 9: Prosecution begins arguments.
— October 18: Prosecution completes arguments
— November 9: Defence starts arguments
— August 22: Defence closes arguments.
— February 20: Dawood gang member Ejaz Pathan produced in court.
— March 20: Mustafa Dossa’s remand proceedings and trial separated.
— September: Trial ends. Court reserves judgement.
— June: Gangster Abu Salem’s trial separated.
— September 12: Court starts delivering the judgement, pronounces four members of the Memon family guilty and acquits three. 12 convicts awarded death penalty while 20 were given life sentence.
— November 1: SC begins hearing on appeals filed by the 100 convicts as well as the state.
— August 29: SC reserves its order on the appeals.
— March 21: SC upholds death sentence of convict Yakub Memon, brother of Tiger Memon, and commutes death sentence of 10 convicts to life term. Life imprisonment of 16 out of 18 convicts also upheld.
— May: President Pranab Mukherjee rejects Yakub’s mercy plea. Read more
— June 2: SC stays Memon’s execution on plea seeking review petitions in death cases to be heard in open court instead of chambers.
— April 9: SC dismisses Memon’s petition seeking review of death sentence which was upheld by apex court.
— July 21: SC rejects Memon’s curative petition, the last legal remedy to avoid execution of death sentence.