The colonial legacy of capital punishment

G Mohan Gopal writes:

The British and their collaborators had made a similar mistake. They thought that the common people of India would be deterred and cowed down by the violence of the state. A young scholar from Columbia recently shared with me data collected from the National Archives showing that the British were hanging on average three people daily in the 1920s in a desperate bid to frighten Indians into obeying British rule. We know how that ended. The government should know how this will end too. [Frontline]

And Fahad Shah meets Maqbool Butt’s mother:

“Both Maqbool sahib and Guru sahib were innocent and on the right path. India thinks that this freedom movement will stop but it won’t stop. It will continue. There are so many Maqbools in Kashmir” [The Kashmir Walla]


3 thoughts on “The colonial legacy of capital punishment”

  1. ofcorse it will never stop..i beleive the hate has grown many folds with this act of india in kashmir youth..the only thing lacking is the consistant,unified and formulla based leadership


  2. In the so-called developed democratic societies there have been so many instances where people incarcerated for years have later been found to be innocent. It is not without reason that more than two-thirds of the countries have abolished death sentence.

    It is common knowledge that in India we do not have independent judiciary or the executive. Both are controlled and/or influenced by the elected officials (the legislative body). It goes without saying that political considerations govern justice and the maintenance of law and order. Senior police officials, to survive and thrive, dance to the tunes of the political masters.

    In case of Afzal Guru, he was nowhere near the scene of a well orchestrated drama of some people wanting to raid India’s parliament with an intent to rid the country of some people masquerading as political leaders. In any case, news media reports that nearly half of this bunch stand accused of serious criminal charges – even murder, applying the arithmetic, had the intruders succeeded in their alleged mission, India would have been poorer by a handful of criminals.

    Afzal Guru was accused of helping the so-called attackers find accommodation and food in Delhi.

    When people embark on such missions, do they really look for a nice place to stay while they await their opportunity?

    In any case, did Afzal Guru know of their mission? Were there any witnesses to corroborate the police story? As we read in the media, there weren’t any and he was found guilty on the basis of unsupported but equally validly, unchallenged police story. Unchallenged, because the accused had not been provided any legal representation.

    I am not a lawyer, but going by the published reports and analysis, it appears to have been miscarriage of justice for which every Indian should hang his/her head in shame.


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