Senior Samajwadi Party leader from Uttar Pradesh, Azam Khan, has said that those supporting Yakub Memon are in the wrong as they want to divide society on religious lines. Khan, often seen as the Muslim face of the Samajwadi Party, has also said that building narratives around Yakub’s religion is unfortunate and that the rule of law is supreme.
The comments by the senior SP leader came in the context of fierce debates doing rounds on Yakub Memon’s death penalty and subsequent hanging.
The comments by Azam are also being read as reactions to statements by Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor and Digvijay Singh who condemned Memon’s hanging.
In a series of tweets posted Thursday morning, Digvijay Singh had questioned the government’s urgency in this case, saying “Yakub Memon hanged. Exemplary urgency and commitment has been shown by Govt and Judiciary in punishing an accused of Terror”, adding “I have my doubts the way the cases of other Terror accused are being conducted. Let’s see. Credibility of the Govt and Judiciary is at stake”. His comments have been interpreted to mean that he accused the government of showing such rapidity in this case of hanging as Memon was a Muslim.
Former Union Minister and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has also questioned what he calls the “cold blooded execution” of Memon. He said that he has problems with “death penalty in principle and practice”.
Memon, the lone death row convict in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case was hanged on Thursday morning after his mercy petition was rejected by the President.