‘Anyone who seeks reprieve for Yakub is a traitor’

Such persons should leave India…No one is above the nation, says BJP minority cell secretary Arshad Alam

Updated - April 01, 2016 04:09 pm IST

Published - July 28, 2015 12:00 am IST - KOLKATA:

At a time when Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Shatrughan Sinha has courted controversy by supporting a mercy petition seeking pardon for Yakub Memon, the 1993 Mumbai blasts convict on death row, the national secretary of the party’s minority cell, Arshad Alam, said here on Monday that anyone who supported Memon’s cause was a traitor.

“Anyone who thinks that Yakub Memon should not be hanged is betraying the nation. Such persons should leave India. Although I haven’t personally heard of Sinha supporting a mercy petition for Yakub Memon, asking for reprieve amounts to treachery. He, too, does not deserve to live in this country. No one is above the nation,” Mr. Alam told journalists.

On Sunday, Mr. Sinha, expelled BJP MP Ram Jethmalani, senior politicians, former judges and activists addressed a 15-page mercy petition to President Pranab Mukherjee against Yakub’s execution.

Lashing out at actor Salman Khan for his controversial statements on a micro-blogging website in support of Yakub, Mr. Alam said: “Supporting an act of terror is also terrorism… He [Mr. Khan] does not deserve to stay in India, he can go away to Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.” Accusing Yakub’s brother Tiger Memon for the blasts, Mr. Khan had written on Twitter that “one innocent man [Memon] being killed is killing humanity.”

Mr. Khan had later retracted his tweets and apologised.

Yakub’s execution was being politicised, Mr. Alam said. “Terror should not be looked at from a communal angle. Muslims are considered vote-banks by political parties. Even Muslims want Memon to be hanged,” he said.

Mr. Alam also lashes out at actor Salman Khan for his controversial statements on a micro-blogging website in support of Yakub

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