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Statements

Condemn the Killing of Kasab in the name of justice!

COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

23/11/2012

Demand for the Total Abolishment of Death Penalty!

The execution of Ajmal Kasab in the most secretive manner befitting an assassin by the Indian state should be condemned by all sections that respect and stand for a polity that believes in deliberation, transparency and the finer values of humanity where the right to life becomes central. A section of the jingoist media and vested interests have celebrated this as justice to the victims of terror and in this hubris have highlighted capital punishment as the way out for all the evils that are holding back humanity. There is a definite competitive bidding at being the ultimate nationalist as the jingoists have asked for more blood in the form of capital punishment so that the ‘nation’ can be rest assured its pride of place by restoring justice. As we are optimists who understand that human nature can change and evolve for the better with the larger well being of the society committed to the values of compassion, sharing and equality, death penalty as a solution for the ills of the society is the ideology of the oppressor, the exploiter.

We at the CRPP recognises that the death penalty reflects societal inequalities; that it is part of the deliberate perpetuation of the state. In the Indian subcontinent various manifestations of this bias is reflected through the feudal structures of power in the form of caste coalesced in class along with the communal prejudice on the Muslim minority and other nationalities. With the increasing onslaught on the masses of people in the form of Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation to maximise profit for moribund capital and their local agents, the state also has teethed itself with the worst draconian laws to stem the tide of the growing indignation of the people. With the help of a surfeit of draconian laws the state is trying to impose its ideological sanction of the need for a penalising national security state further emboldened with the US led so-called ‘war against terror’. This has increased and made complex the fight against the total abolishment of death penalty as it is fundamentally entwined with a national security state armed with all kinds of anti-people laws which makes it easier to inflict capital punishment as a form of deterrent against the rising indignation of the people. While driving home the increasing instances of death penalties being implemented by the state, and at the same time focussing primarily on the inequality within the death penalty, it is important to question the very legitimacy of death penalty being utilised by the state to legitimise its truncated sense of justice.

As long as the lived reality of inequality endures in the Indian subcontinent through the systematic dog-eat-dog policies of various governments, such a reality may be weighed against the consequences its legal system evokes in its people’s name. If the Indian state continues to embrace [capital punishment] in the name of retributive or utilitarian values, then inequality remains not just a “tolerable” value for the government and the policy makers who vouches unabashedly by a system based on greed and unrequited accumulation especially in the era of Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation. Inequality remains a value that is acted upon and thus preserved inextricably through the state’s persistent willingness to use the punishment of death.

Over half of Asian countries have abolished the death penalty or have not carried out executions in the last 10 years. Majority of the European countries have passed legislations to put an end to this barbaric and inhuman practice. In this context India which claims to be the largest democracy in the world have no reason to continue with such barbaric and inhuman methods to ensure the sanction of the state. Through the sensational execution of Ajmal Kasab and making it a standard case of reference the ruling classes are once again trying to legitimise a barbaric act of crime especially at a time when a day before the execution the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon observed that the overwhelming mandate against death penalty “offers the opportunity to again encourage member states who still practice the death penalty or retain it in law” to follow the example of the 150 nations that have abolished or do not practice the death penalty. It speaks volumes about a country which claims to be the largest democracy in the world to be among those few countries—39 of them—to have voted against the UN resolution on death penalty. Just after the resolution got passed in the assembly, the very next day India carried out this barbaric act of denying life to someone. Moreover it is important to note once again the method adopted in the whole process, of high secrecy, all in the name of national security. We unequivocally condemn such unrequited secrecy and the attendant hubris in the media of efficient execution bordering on the revenge thus creating a smokescreen about the very method and ethic of the act itself. Once again the criminal nature of the act has silently got consigned within the flames of revenge, justice and jingoism all conflated into one. CRPP demands total abolishment of death penalty as a form of punishment by the state.

In Solidarity,

SAR Geelani, Working President

Amit Bhattacharyya, Secretary General

Rona Wilson, Secretary, Public Relations

COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

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