Posts Tagged ‘Ajmal Kasab’

‘The hanging of Afzal Guru has diminished India’

11 February 2013

gandhi

On the eve of the winter  budget session of Parliament and with the Gujarat Karnataka, MP, Delhi, Rajasthan elections around the corner, the scam and scandal-ridden Congress-led UPA has stumped the scam and scandal-ridden BJP-led NDA with its early-morning announcement of the hanging of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist involved in the 26/11 siege of Bombay Afzal Guru, the convict in the 2002 attack on Parliament.

Within a matter of hours, a weak government is being seen as assertive by the lynch mobs which routinely bay for blood, and a “soft-state” is slapping its thighs in delight, although the implications of the hanging—on India-Pakistan relations Guru’s home-state Kashmir, which goes to the polls next year, on the fallout in the country, on the fate of Sarabjit Singh Rajiv Gandhi‘s killers, Beant Singh‘s killers etc—are still to be weighed.

Above all, in the very week two months after India refused to be a signatory to a United Nations resolution banning the death penalty, the hanging of Ajmal Kasab Afzal Guru, almost as if to satiate the public and political need for revenge and retribution, throws a big question mark over India’s presumed humanism of the land of the Mahatma.

Editorial in The Hindu:

Afzal Guru was walked to the gallows on Saturday morning at the end of the macabre rite governments enact from time to time to propitiate that most angry of gods, a vengeful public. Through this grim, secret ceremony, however, India has been gravely diminished….

In case after case, the course of criminal justice has been shaped by public anger and special-interest lobbying. Indians must remember the foundational principle of our Republic, the guardian of all our rights and freedoms, isn’t popular sentiment: it is justice, which in turn is based on the consistent application of principles.

For one overriding reason, Guru’s hanging ought to concern even those unmoved by his particular case, or the growing ethics-based global consensus against the death penalty. There is no principle underpinning the death penalty in India today except vengeance. And vengeance is no principle at all.

Editorial in Deccan Herald:

Even where a person has killed another, or many others, in any circumstance or for any reason, there is no justification for taking his life. The provision for capital punishment is based on a primitive idea of retribution and should have no place in the statutes of a civilised society.

Afzal  Guru did not kill, and there is no absolute certainty about his role in the events that he is said to have been involved in. Then why did he have to be executed? The question will haunt the nation’s conscience in the days and years to come.

Also read: Would Gandhi have condoned Kasab‘s hanging?

CHURUMURI POLL: Hang Afzal Guru, pardon Sarabjit?

Would Gandhi have condoned Kasab’s hanging?

21 November 2012

On the eve of the winter session of Parliament and with the Gujarat elections around the corner, the scam and scandal-ridden Congress-led UPA has stumped the scam and scandal-ridden BJP-led NDA with its early-morning announcement of the hanging of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist involved in the 26/11 siege of Bombay.

Within a matter of hours, a weak government is being seen as assertive by the lynch mobs which routinely bay for blood, and a “soft-state” is slapping its thighs in delight, although the implications of the hanging—on India-Pakistan relations, on the fallout in the country, on the fate of Sarabjit Singh, etc—are still to be weighed.

Above all, in the very week India refused to be a signatory to a United Nations resolution banning the death penalty, the hanging of Ajmal Kasab, almost as if to satiate the public and political need for revenge and retribution, throws a big question mark over India’s presumed humanism of the land of the Mahatma.

The former diplomat M.K. Bhadrakumar writes on rediff.com:

The vast majority of world opinion abhors meting out death penalty for any crime. This majority includes countries such as Russia, Israel UK and Germany that have been victims of terrorism. But Indian stands with stony hearts like the United States, China, Pakistan and Iran.

India’s plea is that it is its sovereign right to determine its own legal system, that death sentence is carried out India only on the “rarest of occasions” and that too with great deliberation. But India parries the big moral issue, which is that execution by the state (or the community) is nothing but a barbaric practice dating back tp primeval times when the thumb rule used to be “eye-for-an-eye”.

For India, it is a particularly agonizing question because Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism,  three finest flowers of its ancient civilization, all equally forbid such killings. Indians needs to reflect. I wonder if Gandhi would have condoned Kasab’s execution.

Read the full piece: India snuffs out Kasab‘s life

If death penalty doesn’t work, why thirst for it?

7 May 2010

Ajmal Kasab, the “killing machine”, has been pronounced guilty in the dastardly siege of Bombay. He is to be hanged and the state prosecutor Ujwal Nikam has held up the judgement copy with the cover screaming “Yes, you are guilty.”

Even responsible TV faces admit they have been a little discomfited by the tone and tenor of the television coverage, the blood lust in words and images, leading up to the judgement in the November 26 trial.

Admittedly, the sentencing will assuage some of the sentiments of the nearly 200 victims. And obviously Kasab is only going to get what he gave to the innocent bystanders at VT: death.

Still, questions remain.

With 309 convicts on the bench, with the Afzal Guru case still hanging fire, with 29 mercy petitions before the President, when will Kasab’s turn come, if at all? And will it change anything?

Editorial in Deccan Herald:

“It remains a moot point if the practice of awarding death penalty really serves the purpose for which it is envisaged.

“Fifteen years ago, India had told the United Nations that death penalty was required to instill fear and deter future criminals from perpetrating grave crimes, including terrorist acts. Yet, there is no evidence to suggest that these harsh statutory provisions have helped reduce crime.

“Nearly a hundred countries have abolished capital punishment, a dozen others have reviewed their statutes to preclude ‘ordinary’ crimes from their purview and over 30 others have undertaken not to invoke the harsh punishment though the provision for it continues to exist in their respective statutes.

“Apart from the lack of empirical evidence to establish that the fear of death penalty reduces the incidence of heinous crimes in society, liberal democracies have generally accepted the argument that the state should desist from taking away an individual’s right to life as a measure of extreme punishment — death cannot be a punishment; it is its abrupt end.”

Read the full editorial: Life over death

Cartoon: courtesy E.P. Unny/ The Indian Express

Also read: CHURUMURI POLL: Will Ajmal Kasab be hanged?

Should Afzal Guru be pardoned?

What if Arnab Goswami were in jail with Kasab?

CHURUMURI POLL: Will Ajmal Kasab be hanged?

24 July 2009

It would be an understatement to say that the trial in the November 26 attack on Bombay took a twist in the first three days of the week. It has taken is a mindblowing contortion.

For months, the “lone gunman captured alive”, Mohammed Amir Ajmal Kasab, was an enigma wrapped in a mystery wrapped in a Rubik’s cube. He would keep everybody guessing about his real name, he said he was a minor, he laughed at the prosecution’s questions, his parents claimed him but his nation didn’t, he said he didn’t understand Hindi, he said he did not throw grenades or shoot at Victoria Terminus, etc.

It looked like the case would drag on till the cows came home. Then, suddenly, on Monday morning—in the wake of Indian foreign policy’s ham-handed capitulation at Sharm el-Sheikh and Hillary Clinton‘s visit—Kasab did a u-turn. Yes, he killed the captain of the fishing vessel which was hijacked by the jehadis. Yes, he threw grenades and opened fire at VT. Yes, he fired at the police van carrying the Anti-Terrorism Squad personnel. Yes, yes, yes.

“Hang me,” he said. “Agar kisiko aitraaz hai…agar kisi ke dil mein shak hai ki main phansi se baachne ke liye yeh kar raha hoon toh beshak phansi ki saaza dijiye.” Relatives of the victims say Kasab’s wish should be granted to “set an example”. Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray has already gone to town saying he should be publicly hanged. But will Ajmal Kasab be hanged?

Will a country sitting on Afzal Guru‘s fast-track Kasab’s case? Will the UPA government, which has cited a long list of people on the death bench, make an exception in this “rarest of rare” cases? Or will Kasab’s hanging, like Afzal Guru’s, become political football, softly raising the communal atmosphere? Or will death penalty as a form of punishment have been abolished by the time Kasab’s time comes in the natural order of events?

Also read: Hang Afzal Guru, pardon Sarabjit Singh?

CHURUMURI POLL: A pardon for Afzal Guru?

‘If my aunty was a man, she would be my uncle’ *

3 June 2009

Perplexingly, India has given the Hindi and Marathi transcripts of the 26/11 accused Ajmal Kasab‘s confession to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) without an authenticated English sumary.

Jawed Naqvi offers stiff competition to Navjot Singh Sidhu* through this minor gem in the Dawn:

“Marathi is a rich language, richer in many ways than Hindi. Pula Deshpande, Vijay Tendulkar, Kusumagraj, Prahlad Keshav Atre, Saney Guruji, Shanta Shelke are some of the towering icons of Marathi literature.

“If Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has read any of these writers, it must be in Urdu or English, the two languages we know he knows.  It is highly unlikely that home minister P. Chidambaram, whose mother tongue is Tamil, would be able to read the Marathi or even the Hindi version of any of the fabled writers. His English is good though….

India’s new foreign minister S.M. Krishna has raised hopes for a new informed initiative with India’s neighbours. If he is from the Marathi-speaking musically gifted Dharwar region of Karnataka, as I suspect he is, he could begin by helping translate for the Pakistanis the badly needed piece of evidence they need to nail the culprits of Mumbai.”

Read the full article: A Rosetta stone for peace

Link courtesy Nikhil Moro

‘Boycott Pakistan as if Pakistan doesn’t exist’

19 December 2008

SUJATA RAJPAL writes: First acceptance and then rejection, this is what the Pakistan mantra is all about.

It has become a habit with Pakistan to first make false promises just to ease the tension and calm the world and then, later, to take a full U-turn and go into absolute denial.

After the attack on Bombay, it is clear as pikewater that Pakistan is a terrorist state. It is not only harbouring terrorists but  blatantly encouraging terrorism.

It is not a partner in the War on Terror, it is a perpetrator.

Yet….

Yet, Pakistan constantly denies its links with terrorists and wants the world to believe.

After first announcing that it had arrested LeT spokesman Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, banned the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and put Masood Azhar under house arrest, it now declares that Azhar is not in its custody. And it claims the terrorist captured in Bombay, Ajmal Kasab, is not a national of Pakistan though Kasab’s father has publically accepted that Kasab is his son.

Does the world need a better proof than this that Pakistan is unwilling to cooperate?

How to make Pakistan act?

Making repeated requests/ threats, dialogues, or sending envoys won’t do.

War?

Nope, keeping in mind that both India and Pakistan are nuclear states, this option should not be considered even as a last resort. And has war ever solved any problems? It will only aggravate the tension and bring more destruction and the repercussions will be felt globally.

The problem has gone out of hand and is much beyond India’s control. The entire world needs to join hands to curb terrorism from its roots.

It is not sufficient to declare Pakistan a terrorist state. Here’s what should be done: the comity of nations, in other words, all countries should snap all ties with Pakistan—trade , cultural, films, sports, diplomatic or whatever. All kinds of ties.

No air links with Pakistan, no train services, no bus services, no imports , no exports. Let’s see for how many days Pakistan can survive in isolation.

Yes, the people of Pakistan will suffer but are they any better off with Pakistan being declared as a terrorist state?

This should be done by all the countries concerned about eradicating terrorism and not just by India alone as terrorism is a global issue and has gone much beyond India Pakistan Kashmir issue. Let Pakistan keep  Kashmir if that ends the problem. Anyway what is left of Kashmir?

Snap all ties with Pakistan, as it is said the worst punishment is isolation.

Boycott Pakistan as if it doesn’t exist.

Also read: Eight reasons why we should let Pakistan go

What if Imran Khan were prime minister of India


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