Thursday, March 29, 2012

Japan carries out Executions - back home there is turmoil


Human rights are most important – there cannot be State sponsored terrorism – each individual’s right need to be protected.  Capital punishment should be abolished.  The kins of those killed in riots, terrorist bombing, murdered and raped by goons do not deserve mercy or support.  The issue of Telangana statehood hitherto compounded by senseless decisions of politicians would bring  Lok Sabha to a standstill for two days in the running and back in Andhra Pradesh already 2 persons have committed suicide.  It was a small news item in newspapers when 2 days ago, Naxalites blew up a bus carrying CRPF jawans, killing 15 of them.  In Odisha, Maoists continue to hold hostage the Italian and the MLA they kidnapped a fortnight ago – they do not deserve any care of concern.

Elsewhere in the Nation which was once appreciated for a moratorium on Capital punishments, appear to have resumed executions.  Japan has carried out its first executions in more than 18 months, hanging three death row inmates; Reports state that  three men were hanged at prisons in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Fukuoka. They included Yasuaki Uwabe, who was convicted of killing five people at a train station in 1999.  The executions are the first since July 2010; none of the 132 people on death row were executed in all of 2011, the first time a year had passed without executions for 19 years.  Amnesty International Japan, accused the Democratic party of Japan (DPJ) government of reneging on an earlier promise to look seriously at its use of the death penalty.  Only recently, Amnesty International had singled out Japan for praise over the absence of executions in 2011, despite evidence that successive justice ministers had come under intense pressure to sign death warrants.   Prisoners are not told when they will be executed until a few hours before they are led away to the gallows, and their relatives and lawyers are informed only after the execution has been carried out.

In India, some hundreds of criminals convicted by the Apex Govt still languish in prisons unsure of when and whether the executions will take place !  Ajmal Kasab after killing so many Indians lives to laugh another day.

Elsewhere there is lot of turmoil in Punjab as divergent opinions and politics has ensured that Balwant Singh Rajoana is not hanged on 31 March.  Amid growing pressure in favour of Rajoana, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, president of Akal Takht and chief of influential Sikh body, Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC),   informed  the assembly that he was going to meet President Patil soon and seek clemency for Rajoana.  Days earlier,  the Superintendent had returned the death warrant issued by the Court here that said Rajoana be hanged at Patiala Central Jail on 31 March. While the SGPC has filed a mercy petition for Rajoana before the President, the CBI counsels said the Babbar militant had himself not filed any such petition and accepted his guilt.  Rajoana is currently lodged in Patiala jail. The special CBI court had awarded death sentence to Rajoana and Jagtar Singh Hawara in the Beant Singh case on 1 August, 2007.  Three others — Lakhwinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh and Shamsher Singh — were sentenced to life imprisonment for hatching the conspiracy to kill Beant Singh.  On 31 August, 1995 as Beant Singh stepped out of his office at the high-security Punjab civil secretariat in Chandigarh, a suicide bomber blew himself up, killing the then chief minister and 17 others.  Rajoana was the second human bomb to be used in case Dilawar had failed in his mission.   Balwant Singh Rajoana was a police officer and was  a gunman for chief minister Beant singh.

On 11 September, 1993 a car bomb exploded outside the offices of the Indian Youth Congress on Raisina Road in New Delhi. The bomb used RDX as explosive, and was remote-controlled. 9 people were killed by the bomb. The primary target for the mid-day bombing was identified as Maninder Singh Bitta;  Bitta survived the attack with shrapnel wounds to his chest – two of his  body guards were killed.  Bitta had earlier survived a bombing in Amritsar in 1992 when he lost his leg and 13 people were killed.  Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar was convicted and sentenced to death for the bombing at Delhi.     Bhullar's appeal against the conviction was dismissed by the Supreme Court of India on 27 December, 2006. His plea for clemency was rejected by the President of India in May 2011.  In September 2011, the Supreme Court allowed Bhullar to file an unprecedented second appeal against the death sentence.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court  posed several queries to the government while hearing Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar's petition seeking a stay on his death sentence. In one of the queries, the court wondered as to why the government did not place Bhullar's medical records before President Pratibha Patil when she decided his mercy plea.  The Govt had difficulty in defending  "inordinate delay" taken to decide Bhullar's clemency petition.  The  Court expressed strong reservation to a foreign government writing to the Indian administration asking the latter not to execute the  terrorist.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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