The Mumbai blasts of 1993 was a heinous terrorist attack killing 257 innocent people and causing injuries to scores of others. It is imperative that the criminals responsible should be brought to book and punished. There is ample evidence that the main culprits have escaped the law with the help of agencies across the border. Every effort has to be made from all fora available to bring them back to India to stand trial and consequent punishment under law.
In this context, the death sentence of Yakub Memon alone will not serve the interests of justice. Yakub Memon was part of the conspiracy. But, unlike the main actors, he chose to surrender before the Indian authorities and stand trial. He also brought his family back to India to stand trial. He has provided information to the authorities about the involvement of Pakistani personnel in the attack and the shelter given to the terrorists and is therefore also the only witness available to the Government. Yet, he was singled out for the death sentence while the main perpetrators are at large.
It would serve the ends of justice if Yakub Memon’s death penalty is commuted to a life sentence. Even those convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case with the death sentence have had their sentences commuted to life.
The CPI(M) has been in principle advocating the abolition of the death penalty. Hence Yakub Memon’s mercy petition, which has been filed, should be accepted.