Mixed voices over Kasab’s hanging
By Shyam Balasubramanian | Published: 22nd November 2012 08:39 AM |
The execution of Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist captured alive in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, elicited the predictable mixed reactions from Tamil Nadu politicians.
Even as a wide majority of leaders from across the political spectrum welcomed the hanging of the terrorist, Tamil nationalists and groups fighting the mercy plea of three men convicted in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi found themselves on a sticky wicket.
While some hardline Tamil nationalist voices stuck to their guns against the death penalty — in line with their plea against the death penalties of Perarivalan, Santhan and Murugan — while others took a more flexible position to voice their support for Kasab’s execution. “Even though Kasab’s crime was heinous, capital punishment is not a remedy. Nobody has the right to take a life. I strongly condemn the execution,” said Tamil nationalist leader P Nedumaran. This view was also expressed by some organisations campaigning against the noose for Perarivalan, Santhan and Murugan.
MDMK General Secretary Vaiko slammed the Centre for the execution saying that death penalty should be abolished in the country.
Another strong pro-Tamil voice, CPI state secretary D Pandian, however, took a more balanced position and sought to draw a line of distinction between Kasab and the Rajiv case convicts. “A ruthless killer has been judicially convicted and executed. Even Godse’s conviction and execution were not debated this much. Every killer must get the notice that this will be his end. Terrorism must be fought and those barbarians must be dealt with firmly,” said Pandian.
He said Kasab’s case was different from that of Perarivalan, Santhan and Murugan and a comparison could not be drawn between them.