Statement from the PEOPLE’S UNION FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES
The PUCL condemns the hanging of Afzal Guru in Tihar Jail early in the morning (9.2.2013) today.
The tearing hurry with which Afzal Guru was hanged, accompanied by the flouting of all established norms by not giving his family their legal right to meet him before taking him to the gallows, clearly indicates that there were political considerations behind taking this step. More shameful is the explanation of the Home department that the wife and family of Afzal Guru were intimated of the hanging by a mail sent by Speed Post and Registered Post. Decency and humanity demanded that the Union Government give prior intimation to the family and an opportunity to meet him. Such a surreptitious action of the government also deprives the family of Afzal Guru to right to seek legal remedy.
PUCL also condemns the repressive stand of the Delhi police in not allowing a group of people who were protesting against the hanging and detaining them in police stations. We are equally concerned by reports that right-wing goons were permitted by the police to use violence against the protestors. PUCL asserts the right of citizens to dissent and express their opposition to capital punishment in a peaceful manner. Continue reading Four statements on the execution of Afzal Guru
A large number of people have been asking me on Twitter over the last few days why I had signed a petition asking for Ajmal Kasab to be granted mercy and spared capital punishment. Kasab was hanged 21 November, why have all these people woken up to that petition now? That’s thanks to a belated but concerted online campaign initiated by the Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga-led Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena (BKSS), a rag-tag vigilante organisation which goes around threatening and committing violence against people it has political disagreements with. Continue reading Ajmal Kasab, Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, biryani and me
Sri Pranab Mukherjee
President of India
New Delhi – 110 004.
12 December 2012
Subject: Open letter regarding the resumption of executions in India
I am writing on behalf of Amnesty International regarding the recent resumption of executions in India after eight years, to urge the Indian authorities to immediately establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty. Continue reading An open letter to the President of India: G. Ananthapadmanabhan
This release was put out yesterday by the PEOPLE’S UNION FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES
The secretive and stealthy hanging of Ajmal Kasab in Pune’s Yerwada Prison yesterday, 21st November, 2012, brings to an end the legal process involved in trying Kasab for the brutal assault by trained terrorists from across the border on Mumbai, the commercial capital of India which left 166 persons dead.
The Mumbai carnage of November 2008, more popularly abbreviated to a single term `26/11,’ constitutes one of the most heinous and deliberate attempts in recent years to cause mass mayhem and terror in India. Kasab was the only member of the terrorist team sent from Pakistan apprehended alive; he was caught on film diabolically using his modern automatic weapon in a cold blooded fashion, killing numerous people. The hanging, and the trial and legal proceedings which preceded it, admittedly complied with existing laws which permit death penalty, and cannot be faulted as such. While it may be argued, as many do that the hanging will help in an `emotional closure’ to the families of victims of 26/11, there are others who point out that other key issues still remain to be addressed. Families of victims in specific, as also other concerned citizens, have pointed out that Kasab was only a foot soldier and not the mastermind, who still remain at large. Continue reading Abolition of Death Penalty – A Time for National Reflection: PUCL
Rejoice, fellow Indians. Ajmal Kasab has been hanged. But please excuse me, I am not joining you. Your cheering and hooting and hurrahs feel like a medieval lynch mob celebrating the death of the sinner and not the sin. Barbaric is the word that comes to mind.
This isn’t merely about the morality or aesthetic of capital punishment. I want to ask you: what did we just achieve? Ten terrorists had come to kill and be killed, to cause maximum damage of the sort that they surely knew they’d be killed. Nine of them were killed in direct encounter. Did we hail their deaths? Do we say their deaths were justice? So if we killed Ajmal Kasab four years later- “with due process” – what exactly have we achieved? Continue reading Why I was saddened by Kasab’s execution
While the media has reported most families of those who died in 26/11 as hailing the execution of Ajmal Kasab, Bollywood actor Ashish Chowdhry refuses to be one of them. His sister Monica and her husband were amongst those who were killed at the Oberoi trident hotel. Given below are screenshots of Chowdhary’s tweets. Read from the last tweet upwards. Continue reading A 26/11 victim who refuses to celebrate Kasab’s execution
Guest post by YUG MOHIT CHAUDHRY
Under Article 72 of the Constitution of India, the President’s power to grant mercy comes into play only after the judicial system has confirmed the death sentence. Therefore, the confirmation of the death sentence by the highest court is a condition precedent to the grant of mercy. Judicial confirmation of the death sentence does not put the convict beyond the pale or disqualifies him from mercy; in fact it renders him eligible for mercy. Arguments that Kasab deserved no mercy once the Supreme Court confirmed his death sentence are misconceived.
It is only the rarest of rare crimes that shock the collective conscience of society and are truly unpardonable that are given the death sentence. In our constitutional scheme, it is therefore only persons committing such crimes that are eligible for mercy and pardon. If they are to be excluded from the ambit of mercy by the mere fact of having committed truly unpardonable crimes, the President’s power of mercy has no meaning. Paradoxically, the very fact that Kasab had indeed committed an unpardonable crime is what renders him eligible for mercy. Continue reading The Power of Mercy: Yug Mohit Chaudhry on the execution of Ajmal Kasab