India Abroad August 7, 2015 A31 INDIA SPECIAL/THE HANGING
our reaction to the Supreme Court rejecting
Yakub Memon’s petition...
Let me say this categorically: The judgment
of the Supreme Court is final and binding on
every Indian citizen.
There are no ifs and buts, now. There
should not be any discussion now that the Supreme Court
said what it had to say.
I also want to make it clear categorically that India’s
Supreme Court, or for that matter any other court in the
country, has never made any judgment based on a person’s
The judiciary in India is one democratic institution that is
above fault. I have seen that myself in Gujarat, for example,
where 465 Hindus have been convicted and 63 Hindus have
been given life imprisonment.
Now, all the judges who delivered the verdicts were
Hindus. All the victims were Muslims.
All the lawyers who fought against the accused were
If there were even an iota of discrimination against
Muslims in Gujarat, then so many convictions would have
The judicial system in India is absolutely unbiased. Even in
the Western world we get to see discrimination based on
someone being an Asian or a black. But this has never happened in India.
And I have seen this in Gujarat. I myself doubted that
Muslims will ever get justice in Gujarat after 2002, but then
we saw these convictions happening.
Even in the Godhra train carnage, 93 Muslims were arrested, but ultimately 64 were released. Even in the 1993
Mumbai bomb blasts, 11 convicts were given death sentence,
but later on only one person is facing the gallows.
My confidence in the Indian judiciary is absolute after I
saw justice being delivered in Gujarat even when a BJP government was ruling the state.
Gujarat ka Mussalman yeh samajhta tha ki BJP ki sarkar
hai toh use kabhi bhi insaaf nahi milega. Lekin hamare
saamne jo haqeeqat hai who kuch aur hi hai (The Muslims
of Gujarat believed that they will never get justice in a BJP-ruled state, but the facts are before all of us to make a judgment).
Zakia Jafri’s petition is still pending and coming up for
hearing in the Gujarat high court on August 4.
Yes, that is true. But what I am saying is weren’t 465
Hindus convicted for their crimes? 63 people were convicted
for life including Maya Kodnani (a minister in then Gujarat
chief minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet).
But she is out on bail now...
That is a different issue. But let me tell you that she was
finished the day the sessions court gave her life imprisonment.
Do you think one can compare the heinous acts of Yakub
Memon and Maya Kodnani?
Maya Kodnani has been sentenced to 28 years in jail considering her age. The lady judge said that she could have very
well awarded the death sentence to her and others, but then
she wanted them to die every day of their life. And that is
what is happening.
Look at Maya Kodnani even if she is out on bail. She is
completely finished. She has been in a state of shock ever
since. She is finished mentally. She looks like she is at the last
stage of her life.
You go and see her. If you meet her, you won’t recognise
that the person you are meeting is Maya Kodnani.
If you meet Babu Bajrangi (another convict in the Naroda
Patiya murders who has been sentenced to life imprisonment
till his death)...
According to me there is hardly any difference between
capital punishment and life imprisonment. I think life
imprisonment is worse than death because then you die
every day of your life.
The Mumbai bomb blasts are far more sinister than the
other crime which is aiding and abetting rioters.
Yakub’s is an act of terror.
Can’t we also label what Maya Kodnani and Babu Bajrangi
did as an act of terror?
There is a little bit of difference.
The post Godhra riots — as is the Godhra train carnage —
may also be considered an act of terror just like the Mumbai
bomb blasts. Both led to the killings of Indians by Indians. In
the former case, Pakistanis helped Indians commit the blasts
and in the latter Indian themselves conspired in India to kill
The judgment against Maya Kodnani and Babu Bajrangi
delivered by Judge Jyotsna Yagnik has blown the defence of
the accused to smithereens and clearly stated that life
imprisonment was far severe a punishment than a death
sentence. I fully agree with the judge’s verdict. I think justice
was done for the victims by this judgment.
I want to make another point.
Yakub Memon and his entire family, who came back to
India to cooperate and help India establish the Pakistani
connection, should not be equated with Dawood Ibrahim
and ‘ Tiger’ Memon at all.
They surrendered before the law of the land. And I am saying this with great empathy and pain.
Don’t equate Yakub with terrorists like Dawood Ibrahim
and Tiger Memon.
He cooperated with Indian agencies and still he is facing a
My contention is if Yakub was really a criminal and
involved he would have never come back to India to help
He would have never come to India by himself, leave alone
his wife who delivered a baby soon after his surrender and
his old parents.
He came here with genuine intent. I am not saying that he
was not involved in the bomb blasts.
He came back to help Indian investigating agencies, which
he did. He came with lots of information.
Till the time he had not surrendered hum log hawan main
Zafar Sareshwala, who is considered by many as someone close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
goliyan chala rahe the (we were just firing in the air). We had
‘Don’t equate Yakub with terrorists like
Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon’
spoke to Prasanna D Zore/India Abroad after the Supreme Court verdict in the Yakub Memon case.
yakub Memon being taken to a TaDa court in 2007.