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An Open Letter To Yakub Memon

By Sukumaran C. V.

29 July, 2015
Countercurrents.org

Dear Yakub,

Most probably, you are going to be hanged within a few hours. The political ambience of our country, which claims to be the largest democracy in the world, is such that it needs your blood to hoodwink the people, to make them forget about the Acche Din and the corruption free government they have been promised, and to make them feel that they are having a ‘patriotic’ government.

You are one of the conspirators who chalked out the dastardly serial bomb blasts that shattered Mumbai in March 12, 1993 and killed 247 innocent people. Whoever had done such inhuman acts of cruelty should be hanged to death and as you are one of the people who helped to execute the blasts, you deserve the gallows.

But the problem is that there are many others who deserve the gallows but have never been even arrested and put on trial. I am not referring to your co-conspirators —Tiger Memon, Dawood Ibrahim and his brother Anees Ibrahim—whom the Indian law and order machinery has not even been able to touch for the last 23 years. I am referring to those people who destroyed a 400 years old edifice on December 6, 1992 and sparked communal riots in Mumbai and other parts of the country. I am referring to those police personnel who abetted the goons and anti-social elements to resort to vandalism and to rape, murder and loot innocent people.

You and I are the citizens of the largest democracy in the world and we should be proud of that. I don’t forget the fact that you can’t be proud of our democracy as I am, even if you are going to be hanged tomorrow by ‘our democracy’. I think that you are guilty of killing innocent people and people like you should be dealt with capital punishment. But I think genocide also is a heinous crime and the perpetrators of which too should be awarded capital punishment. We have seen genocide or pogrom in our country and bone-chilling cruelties have been committed in the name of religion. People were torched alive, charred to death and hacked to death. Pregnant women were raped, their wombs ripped apart and the foetus tossed to the fire.

But neither the people who perpetrated such horrible crimes nor those who abetted them have been punished. And the victims are forced to believe that they live in the largest democracy in the world.

And in the aftermath of the Babari Masjid demolition, in Mumbai, our country’s economic capital, innocent people were hunted down in the name of religion. Rape, arson and murder were committed in large scale. The police, who are supposed to prevent the anti-social elements from committing atrocities against the innocent let the hooligans slaughter both the innocent and our democracy and many of the police personnel were, as the Srikrishna Commission Report points out, ‘found actively participating in riots, communal incidents of looting, arson and so on.’ And the victims are asked to believe that they live in the largest democracy in the world.

The Srikrishna Commission report records a large number of gruesome incidents occurred in Mumbai in December 1992 and January 1993. One of such incidents: “On 12th January 1993, a Hindu mob surrounds, strips and assaults two Muslim women. The older woman manages to run away. The uncle of the younger woman, who comes to rescue the young girl of 19, and that girl are beaten and burnt alive by the violent mob. The names of the miscreants are disclosed to the police by a Hindu lady in the locality. Though the miscreants were arrested and tried, they were all acquitted.” (Srikrishna Commission Report, Volume I, Chapter II, 1.15) And we live in the largest democracy in the world.

Let me quote another one: “Between 1100 to 130 hours on 10 January 1993, after having arrived at Pathan Chawl, the police forcibly entered the premises of the Muslims and started picking them up. They entered the residence of one Hasamaniya Wagale, terrorized his wife and daughter at the point of rifle, picked up his 16-year-old son, Shahnawaz, and dragged him out, all the while kicking him and assaulting him with rifle butts. Wagale’s daughter, Yasmin Hasan Wagale, saw Shahnawaz being taken towards police vehicle, when one of the constables shot him from behind at point blank range…..Despite overwhelming evidence which, in the opinion of theCommission, clearly indicts the police for cold-blooded murder, the Deputy Commissioner of Police has adroitly white-washed the affair.” (Srikrishna Commission Report, Volume II, Chapter I, 5.58)

Another incident: “Nazneen is a resident of Room No. 19, 2nd floor, Ellam Mansion, Dongri. On 9thJanuary 1993, her husband returned from Pune and was in bed as he had kidney pain. At about 19.20 hours on 10th January 1993 policemen barged into her room and smashed up household articles with rifle butts under the guise of searching for weapons. When she protested saying that her husband was sick and her father was suffering from cancer, and requested the police not to bother them, one of the policemen said to another, Hila ghya, Kami yeyeel (Take her; she would be useful). Her husband who protested was later on shown as accused in TADA Special Case No. 32 of 1993” (Srikrishna Commission Report, Volume 2, Chapter 1, 11.75)

Yet another one: “Babu Abdul Shaikh had been taken into custody by Police Inspector Salvi, PSI More and PC-24242 Vidyadhar Raghunath Shelar. But because of their conduct he was attacked and murdered by Hindu miscreants…” (Volume 1, Chapter 3, 1. 30. G)

As Justice B. N. Srikrishna says in the Report: “The sense of camaraderie, which existed between the Hindus and the Muslims when they were united in their efforts to throw the British out of this country, appeared to have vaporized and vanished with the “two Nation theory” advocated by Mohammed Ali Jinnah spawning the political perfidy of partition of the country and leading to the massacre of thousands of innocent citizens on both sides of the border. With attainment of freedom and adoption of the Indian Constitution with its inbuilt guaranteed fundamental rights of minorities, apprehensions entertained by the minorities should have subsided. However, it was soon realized that the apprehensions were merely driven deeper into the psyche, to fester there and manifest themselves at periodic intervals. Creation of Special Rights in favour of the minority, though intended for allaying their fears, brought in its wake resentment against the minorities on the part of the majority i.e. the Hindus. An atmosphere of distrust, and feeling of “us” and “them” which existed, albeit nebulously, soon after the partition, became thickened by opportunistic politics. Piffling issues become insuperable when the mind is biased...”

After the Babri Masjid demolition, between December 6 and 10, 1992 and between January 6 and 20, 1993, communal hatred turned Mumbai into a virtual hell. Can the incidents like the following be allowed to happen in a civilized nation?

“(Witness No. 200) Salma Aziz Merchant’s husband was sick because of chronic ulcer, heart ailment and was under continuous treatment from Dr. Moledina. On 10th January 1993, at about 1200 hours, 20-25 policemen entered the house and ransacked the household articles under the excuse of searching for weapons. They took away Salma’s 16 year-old boy and sick husband. When she tried to protest they brandished rifles and threatened to shoot her and her son. Subsequently Salma learnt that her husband, Aziz Merchant, had died in a police encounter on 11th January 1993. According to Salma, when she went to identify the body at J. J. morgue, the bullet-ridden body was virtually beyond recognition. Salma was emphatic that her husband was incapable of joining the riot in the state of his health and the police have murdered him. Her evidence is corroborated by Dr. M.J.M Moledina (Witness No. 201). We can see many such incidents in the Srikrishna Commission Report (Volume II, Chapter I)

“Three Muslims traveling in a Maruti car in Pratiksha Nagar were pulled out, severely assaulted, put back in the car and the car was set on fire resulting in their being burnt alive. The incident occurred opposite Building No. 20, Manohar Kini Memorial Library, Sardar Nagar No.1, Pratiksha Nagar on 14th January 1993 at 14.30 hours. (C. R. No. 27 of 1993). Three Police constables, one of them armed, were present on fixed bandobust duty at Shivaji Chowk in Sardar Nagar No.1 and they were all in uniforms. The place where this incident took place was hardly 150 feet from Shivaji Chowk where this picket was on bondobust duty. No attempt appears to have been made by the police picket to stop the gruesome incident. An interesting fallout of this incident is that on 15th January 1993 the police arrested two persons in connection with this incident and on the same day a morcha of 3000 to 4000 men and women led by the local Shiv Sena Shaka Pramukh Prahlad Thombre, Shiv Sena MLA Shri Kalidas Kolamkar, Congress MLA Shri Eknath Gaikwad, Congress Corporator Smt.Karuna Mahatre, Shiv Sena Corporator Shri Krishna Vishwasrao, Shiv Sena Vibhag Pramukh Sudam Pandit and one Arvind Samant came to the police station demanding release of the arrested accused.” (The Srikrishna Commission Report, Volume II, Chapter I, 2.14)

“One 18-year-old girl, Shamim Bano, was kidnapped and, inspite of the names of the culprits being disclosed to the police, the police took little action in the matter and the girl was not traced thereafter (C. R. No. 27 of 1993)" (Srikrishna Commission Report, Volume II, Chapter I, 2.23)

"One handicapped person, Abdul Mannan, was brutally murdered by the miscreants and though their names were given to police, no action seems to have been taken. (C. R. No. 114 of 1993)" (Srikrishna Commission Report, Volume II, Chapter I, 2.24).

The chapter records many such horrible incidents. We can't but wonder whether such cruelties can be perpetrated on innocent people in the name of religion in a Secular Democracy.

After the1993 Mumbai, we have seen the state sponsored brutality of majority communalism in the 2002 Gujarat and then in 2007 we have seen the same phenomenon repeating at Kandhamal in Orissa.

Dear Memon, in our country people who have committed more heinous crimes against the nation and the innocent live prosperously with power and wealth. Therefore I believe that what happens to you is not justice, but violence in the form of justice. But you deserve it, because you should not have resorted to violence to avenge violence. People like you who masterminded the Bombay serial blasts and those who masterminded the Babari Masjid demolition and the subsequent communal riots and the Gujarat genocide and the Muzafarnagar riot are the two sides of the same coin—religious fanaticism which shatters the peace and co-existence of the people. And I believe that all of you deserve to be hanged to death, not you alone. India will be a democratic nation only if and when we are free of religious fanaticism. India will be a democratic nation only when and if the Indians can’t be mobilized by caste and religious considerations and feelings. India will be a democratic nation only when and if people learn to be human beings instead of being Hindus, Muslims and so on and so forth. Therefore I am ashamed of our democracy which claims to be the largest democracy in the world without having the democratic spirit.

And I presume that you are also ashamed of the largest democracy in the world and yourself, too, for your involvement in the crimes against humanity.

Sukumaran C. V is a former JNU student now working as clerk in the Kerala State Government service. Emai: lscvsuku@gmail.com


 

 





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