Memon sentenced to death as no political backing: Owaisi

Hyderabad, July 29 (IANS) AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday contended 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon got a death sentence because he did not have any political backing, unlike the killers of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and Punjab chief minister Beant Singh.

Owaisi, who is the MP from Hyderabad, also said that if Memon is to be hanged, the perpetrators of Babri Mosque demolition should also be hanged.

“If capital punishment given by court of law can bring closure to innocent victims of bomb blast, I demand capital punishment should also be given to actual (plotters) in demolition on Babri Masjid,” Owaisi said.

“…I still stand by the statement I made, capital punishment is being given because there is no political backing. I corroborate my comment by saying it is for every one to learn how Akali Dal has saved the killer of Beant Singh. How Tamil parties have saved killers of Rajiv Ganhdhi from being sent to gallows,” he said.

He said it was a “fact that Memon surrendered and was not arrested” and had cooperated with the investigation agencies to show real perpetrators were Pakistan’s ISI and Tiger Memon “but is being sent to gallows”. Owaisi also cited the statements of Justice Katju and various other judges who said he does not deserve capital punishment.

“I hope and pray peace will prevail… my stand I will take to my grave. Yakub was involved but he did not deserve capital punishment. He got capital punishment because the then Narasimha Rao government cheated him because he did not have political backing,” he reiterated.

Also noting that Muslim leaders in Mumbai were being asked to ensure peace, he questioned why leaders from other communities were not being asked.

“Yes we have to maintain peace, law and order at all cost, but I am really surprised and shocked that in Mumbai and Maharashtra, police are only calling Muslim leaders and telling them to cooperate. Cooperation has to be given by every section of society,” Owaisi added.

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