Politicians of various hues support abolishing death penalty

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tharoorLeaders such as Shashi Tharoor, Sitaram Yechury, Asaduddin Owaisi, Brinda Karat and several others spoke in one voice against awarding capital punishment and that it should be scrapped.

Though the Congress has been officially backing the death sentence awarded to Yakub Memon, party MP Shashi Tharoor has embarrassed the party by tweeting against the death sentence. He tweeted that he is saddened by the news that “our government has hanged a human being”. Hanging a convict cannot be a deterrent, he added.

Trying to control the damage, Tharoor claimed he was not commenting on the merits of a specific case hinting he is not opposing Yakub’s hanging and he is against the concept of death sentence. It was followed by two more tweets.

However, Congress spokesperson RS Surjewala has disassociated the party from Tharoor’s tweet. He said it was Tharoor’s personal view and not that of the party.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury at the party office said that all people who support terror in one or the other form should be punished but not given the capital punishment.

He said India should abolish death sentence and change death penalty into a life sentence. India will not be the first country to do so. More than 100 countries have abolished it and India should do the same, he added.

Voicing disappointment over the Supreme Court’s refusal to stay the execution, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi stuck to his stand that Yakub Memon was hanged because he had “no political backing”.

Why were “Only three persons convicted. What about their closure, what about their justice in the Mumbai riots case of 1992-93, in which 900 people were killed,” he asked.

“It is for everyone to learn how the Akali Dal has saved the killer of Beant Singh, how both the Tamilian parties have saved the Rajiv Gandhi’s killers from being hanged,” he said.

Police detained an Independent MLA from north Kashmir’s Langate constituency, Sheikh Abdul Rashid, after he took out a rally here to protest the hanging of Yakub Memon and against the prevalence of capital punishment.

Rashid, along with his supporters, were taken into preventive custody after they took out the protest march near the Clock Tower at of Lal Chowk here, officials said.

CPI (M) politburo member Brinda Karat said she was disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision to reject Yakub Memon petition against his death warrant.

Karat said one has to take note between one who has surrendered to the Indian government and the main accused who are still taking shelter in Pakistan. 

“We hope the President of India has the last word on clemency. I hope he will consider this petition,” Karat said.

“We have given the mercy petition on very substantive points to the President. We believe it is for the President to decide. So, we hope he will look at the mercy petition and take appropriate action,” she added.

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