India Abroad August 7, 2015 A33 INDIA SPECIAL/THE HANGING
The most troubling aspect of the sinister and man- ufactured outrage of the usual suspects over the hanging of a mass murderer, Yakub Memon, is how easily this fringe group is able to impose itself on the national narrative and build pressure
to short-circuit, stall and sabotage even a transparent, if also
torturous, judicial process.
This is precisely what happened in the case of Afzal Guru
and now in the case of Memon. The last minute challenges
against the death sentence, which if allowed would have tied
the legal system in an ad infinitum cycle of ruling followed
by challenge followed by mercy petition followed by challenging the rejection of mercy petition and so on and so
forth, were only aimed at making a mockery of the judicial
It goes to the credit of the government and the judiciary
that it did not succumb to the falsehoods and disingenuous
arguments that these fringe elements forwarded in the
defence of a mass murderer responsible for the deaths of
hundreds of Indians.
But the entire spectacle surrounding the Yakub Memon
case raises serious questions — and this was raised by a
young Facebook friend — about how a country, which seems
jittery about hanging a convicted terrorist, can ever fight terrorism, much less defeat it.
Despite all the deflection, obfuscation, double-speak,
twisting of facts and inventing of facts, conjuring up evidence
which did not exist, specious logic and blatant lies that was
employed in the defence of Memon, the sheer weight of evidence against him was so overwhelming and his crime so
unpardonable, that there was really no way that he could
have escaped the gallows.
While it is easy to understand where conscientious objectors to the death penalty are coming from and one can agree
to disagree with them, what is mind boggling is the logic that
was forwarded by those who argued that Memon was being
hanged because he was a Muslim or that he was not an integral part of the 1993 bomb blasts conspiracy or that he had
been offered a deal by the investigating agencies and that’s
why he came back, or that the bomb blasts must be seen in
the context of the Babri demolition and subsequent riots in
Mumbai (as if this was a mitigating factor!) or even that
since so many other criminals and murderers have managed
to evade the death sentence — the Khalistani terrorist
Balwant Singh Rajaona for example — therefore so should
Almost all these arguments are pure nonsense.
The entire case against Memon’s execution was sought to
be based on a Rediff.com article written by the former
Research and Analysis Wing official B Raman who expressed
his opinion — note, it was only his opinion — that Memon
shouldn’t be hanged.
Raman did write that he organised the logistics for bringing Memon into India from Nepal. But since when has
organising logistics come to mean that Memon was offered a
deal by Indian officials?
Raman has very clearly written that not only did he consider Memon guilty but also that Memon was not surrendering
and was going back to Karachi when he was apprehended by
the Nepalese authorities and handed over to India. And yet,
Memon’s defenders keep mouthing the lies that he had surrendered.
It is also touching to see how these usual suspects who
never let go off any opportunity to undermine and question
the credibility of officials of law enforcement and intelligence
agencies so readily lap up an opinion of an official of these
very agencies simply because it suits them.
Strangely, while Raman’s opinion is accepted as the unal-
loyed truth, the testimony and opinions of dozens of other
officials who were directly involved in the investigation is
rejected out of hand because it doesn’t suit their sinister
Even more strange is how all these people never opened
their mouth in the 22 odd years while the trial was underway
but as soon as the day of judgement approached, this entire
lot of usual suspects who have made it their mission in life to
promote and protect all those who damage India, come out
of the woodwork and start a clamor in the defence of a Yakub
Where was their activism when the trial was going on?
Why did they not speak up then?
If they felt so strongly about Memon’s innocence why did
they not stand up in court to defend him?
No answer is ever forthcoming.
It is now being said that Memon was offered a deal and
that’s why he came back. Now anyone with even a modicum
of knowledge of how the criminal justice system works
knows that there is a process and procedure by which someone is made a prosecution witness on the promise of reduced
How come if Memon was offered a deal and the prosecution reneged on it his defence, his lawyers never mentioned
this before the judge when the chargesheet was filed against
Surely, this matter should have been raised then and if
there was some breach of trust by the investigators it should
have been brought to the notice of the judge. But this was
never done. To raise this issue now is a simple dissemble.
Raman also writes that Memon cooperated after his arrest.
Did he have a choice? Be that as it may, the legal challenge to
Memon’s execution had really no legs to stand on. But there
was a political argument which was also made in an effort to
get him off the gallows, only it was mostly just as specious as
the legal argument.
The most pernicious part of the political argument was the
attempt to project Memon as a victim of a ‘cruel’ and ‘biased’
justice system who was being punished because he was a
Muslim. As such he was being projected as some sort of
Muslim icon, which he clearly was not. Nor for that matter
was his case some kind of Muslim cause celebre, though it
was sought to be presented as such.
In the process his crime was sought to be either glossed
over or explained away or even justified by presenting it as a
cause (the Babri Masjid demolition and the Mumbai riots)
and effect (bomb blasts) thing.
To equate Memon with the rest of Indian Muslims is a
grave injustice to the entire community because it lumps the
community with the perpetrators of a horrible crime as their
sympathiser and supporter, which is nothing but a travesty.
Memon was hanged not because he was a Muslim,
but because he participated in mass murder
The destruction in Worli, south-central Mumbai, on March 12, 1993, a part of the series of blasts that rocked the city that day, for which yakub Memon was sentenced to death. reDIFF.CoM
The tragedy is that, at least on social media, the narrative that was
being lapped up by many Indian Muslims was that Yakub Memon
was being victimised. The purveyors of this poisonous line of
thinking want this sentiment to grow since communal polarisation
is the primary pillar of their political strategy, says Sushant Sareen.