After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure. This quote by Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.is something which would bring little or no solace to Yakub Memon. Tomorrow around this time the sun will set and it will be a new day for a lot of <g data-gr-id="28">people</g> but it could well be the end of Yakub’s life. Contrary to popular perception, Yakub is no longer the man with a black stubble as shown in file photos but a <g data-gr-id="30">middle aged</g> man with white hair who has had mental health issues including schizophrenia for a long time. Home Minister Rajnath Singh tonight called on President Pranab Mukherjee and is believed to have tacitly conveyed the government’s view that the mercy petition of Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon be rejected. The home ministers meeting came after government consultations at the top level considered the mercy petition referred to it by the President.
The President acts on the <g data-gr-id="31">aide</g> and advice of the Council of Ministers. Prime Minister Modi, Singh along with the top brass, at the Prime Minister’s residence and discussed the issue and felt that the President should be advised to reject the mercy petition filed today. Hectic consultations were in the evening on the issue holding discussions with the Home Secretary apparently on the issue. Rashtrapati Bhavan is expected to make public its decision, one way or the other, on the issue tonight as time is running out for Memon. He is scheduled to be hanged tomorrow morning in the Nagpur jail after the Supreme Court dismissed his petition against the death warrant on the ground that it was issued before his curative plea was heard by the court. President Pranab Mukherjee sent the fresh mercy petition of 1993 Mumbai-blast accused Yakub Memon–filed today as a last ditch attempt to escape the gallows–to the Home Ministry.
Memon, who is scheduled to be hanged to death in Nagpur Jail tomorrow at 7 AM, sent a fresh clemency plea to the President today. Judicial finality need not necessarily mean that India should hang Yakub Memon. Even in this situation, as his life hangs on the slender thread of a fresh mercy plea to the President, is the irreversible and inhuman sentence of death the only recourse for a democratic government? Carrying out the sentence will only have the appearance of a justice that is retributive and vengeful, not substantial or morally different from the very offence that gave rise to the proceedings. Yakub Memon is guilty only of playing a peripheral role in the 1993 terrorist bombings in Mumbai (then Bombay). Hanging him serves no purpose other than satisfying the bloodlust of society. It is a moment for deep introspection for society as a collective.