With the Supreme Court’s refusal to reconsider the curative petition of 1993 blast convict Yakub Memon, blast victims and the judicial team who first sentenced him in the trial stage, welcomed his expected execution on July 30.
“This is a right decision, but it has come 22 years too late. If you punish even one person, others will not commit the same crime. That’s why we should punish. I do not have any personal enmity with Yakub Memon and his crime has nothing to do with me, but there should be a system. Had he been punished at the right time, other blasts would not have taken place. Delay is not a justification, but at least there is a satisfaction that a lesson will be learnt,” Kirti Ajmera, a victim, told The Hindu .
Yakub, younger brother of Dawood Ibrahim aide and alleged blast mastermind Tiger Memon, is the first accused of the serial blasts who is set to be executed.
Mr. Ajmera was badly injured in a powerful blast near the Bombay Stock Exchange, one of the 13 bomb explosions that ripped through Mumbai. In 22 years, he underwent 40 operations with no government support. “We did not get anything from the government despite several appeals. I was 36 years old in 1993 and today I am 58. I could not give a proper education to my children,” he said. He questioned the delay in nabbing Tiger and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
“The government should move seriously on extraditing them. This should be a priority,” he said.
Justice (retired) P.D. Kode, who first sentenced Yakub to death in 2007 as the special TADA judge, said the Supreme Court’s decision came as “a solace to Indian citizens.”
“Ultimately, the death penalty is the extreme, given in the rarest of the rare cases. It was given for a terrorist activity. The 1993 trial was said to be the longest trial. The development from the Supreme Court shows that such trials are smoothly conducted in our country and taken to their logical end. It shows that the Indian judiciary takes human rights violations and miscarriage of justice seriously,” Justice (retd.) Kode told The Hindu .
Meanwhile, Ujjwal Nikam, special public prosecutor of the 1993 blasts, said the apex court had sent “an important message of deterrence.” “Yakub was trying to prolong his death penalty. Now there is no legal impediment in his execution. This will send a strong signal across the border,” Mr. Nikam said.