Wednesday 16th Jan 2019
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Verdict on 1993 Bombay Blasts

Editorial

The Supreme Court confirmed death sentence to Yakub Memon as the “driving spirit” for the 1993 Bombay blasts. It also upheld the life sentence awarded to 23 others but commuted the death sentence of 11 others to life sentence. Sanjay Dutt’s sentence has been reduced from six to five years.

This draws a curtain on the court cases of the blasts which took place 20 years ago and caused the tragic death of 257 innocent men and women. The Supreme Court has also indicated Pakistan’s ISI for its clear involvement in the blasts. It also said that “unfortunately… police officers themselves have taken active part in smuggling and transportation of arms and explosives in Bombay, and upheld the conviction of at least eight police officials under charges of conspiracy and dereliction of duty. Confirming the conviction of four custom officials, the court said, “It is shattering to notice that all grades of custom officers, including the Commissioners of Customs played an active role as members of conspiracy and implemented the plan.”

Every sane and law abiding person, who believes in supremacy of law, will agree that law must take its course and the guilty must get their due for murder and mayhem of innocent citizens.

One strange phenomenon being observed is the clamour for pardoning the Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt. Politicians are falling upon one another to request and support his pardoning. Is it because he belongs to a privileged class of citizens? If leniency should be shown to him, why others should not get this concession? Sanjay was already shown the leniency by not being tried under the stringent TADA while others could not get this privilege. Under TADA, confessions extracted under coercion were used as proof. There is another question, which most newspapers and opinion-makers are conveniently forgetting. Will the hapless victims of infamous Bombay riots which were raged in December 1992 and January 1993 and caused the death of over 1,000 people and widespread destruction, ever get justice? Will the guilty, the communalist politicians, the officers guilty of dereliction of duty and partisanism be ever punished?

There is no good in reopening the old wounds. It would be good for India if it leaves behind the dark memories of death and destruction wrought by hate and communal passion. It is imperative to build a new society based on love, cooperation and mutual confidence.



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