Kashmir Protests Yakub Memon's Execution
Kashmir leader Engineer Rashid being arrested while demonstrating against Yakub Memon's execution in
SRINAGAR: The execution of Mumbai serial blast accused, Yakub Memon, in Nagpur jail on Thursday evoked condemnation and protests in parts of Kashmir Valley during which a legislator was detained from the capital Srinagar.
The execution was condemned by the veteran Hurriyat leader, Syed Ali Geelani, as well as moderate Hurriyat chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. In a statement, Geelani said Memon was executed for being a Muslim, “Voices within India are being raised, questioning the legality of sending him to the gallows”.
“The hanging (of Memon) is against all humanitarian norms and principles of justice. The death sentence has still not been carried out in the case of assailants of Rajiv Gandhi. After hanging Yakub Memon, it appears that the persons belonging to a particular community are being selectively chosen for carrying out the death sentence,” Mirwaiz said in a statement.
Dukhtaran-e-Millat chief, Aasiya Andrabi said Memon is the latest victim of "India's communal mindset.” “The big sin of Yaqoob Memon in the eyes of Indian majority and its government was that he was a Muslim. He was hanged despite many voices being raised even within India against his hanging. It reminds us of the pain of Afzal Guru who too was illegally hanged to satisfy the collective conscience of India,” she said.
Mohammad Yasin Malik, chairman of pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), while commenting on Memon’s execution said that a message has been sent across that “Indian judiciary is in a hurry when it comes to delivering verdicts against a particular community.”
“Indian investigating agencies are on record saying that Abu Salem is the main conspirator and architect of Mumbai bomb blasts, he was extradited from a foreign country with a promise by none other than LK Advani that he won’t be executed. He continues to be in jail. On the contrary, a man like Yakub Memon who trusted the Indian state faced plain betrayal,” Malik told The Citizen.
The JKLF chief further said that in totality only Muslims have been executed in India in last couple of years.
“Why was Memon hanged? Even the Indian experts are raising doubts about the judicial process and entire drama surrounding the capital punishment,” he said.
Earlier on Thursday, a group of people led by MLA Langate, Engineer Abdul Rashid, assembled near the historic clock tower in Lal Chowk and shouted anti-government slogans to protest the Yakub's execution. Carrying banners and placards reading, “Who Among Muslims Is To Be Hanged Next”, the protesters denounced the execution of Menon as "a cold blooded murder". They also shouted slogans like “Gali Gali Main Shor Hain, Delhi Aadam Khor Hain”.
Rashid said the execution was "unwarranted and unjustified" as Memon had willingly surrendered and cooperated with investigating agencies. "It is travesty of justice. Yaqub is another victim of Indian government’s inhumane justice delivery system. Indian Justice System has witnessed another big dent. First they executed Muhammad Afzal Guru and now a person who happened to be a Muslim after spending twenty years in prison”.
Rashid said the "killers of Muslims" are roaming free and no action has been initiated against them "because they belong to the majority community". “Why Indian Prime Minister is roaming free when he is behind the killing of innocent Muslims in Gujrat. Why Meca Masjid and Malagoan blast accused are not hanged,” he questioned.
During the protest, Rashid also demanded the return of mortal remains of Mohammad Afzal Guru, who was hanged and secretly buried in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail on February 9, 2013 on charges of attacking Indian parliament. Witnesses said a police team arrived at the spot later and detained Rashid along with some of his supporters.
A protest was also held by lawyers at Srinagar Lower Court against the hanging. The lawyers staged a sit-in and termed the execution as ‘travesty of justice’. Lawyers at Pulwama Court Complex in south Kashmir also carried out a march against the "unwarranted" execution of Yakub Menon. In Doda district of Jammu, hundreds of people offered funeral prayers in absentia for Yakoob Menon. The participants later staged a protest against his hanging and termed it as a ‘grave blunder and grave injustice’ on part of the government of India.