New Delhi: A war of words has erupted over the execution of 1993 Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon and the issue of terrorism, with a section of people speaking against the death sentence and the government hitting back.
Most of Delhi's Urdu dailies expressed regret over the hanging of the 1993 Mumbai blasts convict but exercised restraint on the Supreme Court's verdict.
Here's how the Urdu media covered the hanging, which took place on July 30.
An editorial in Inquilab opined that Yakub Memon had been made a "scapegoat". The editorial said that security agencies have failed to catch the mastermind and prime accused, including Tiger Memon, of the serial blasts. "They did not even take the trouble to trace the real culprits," said the editorial.
"Instead, they were bent on hanging an accused who had come (back to India) on his own. He should have been shown leniency as he had surrendered. By hanging Yakub, only the mechanical thing was completed.... Was justice served to him?"
Inquilab hailed the Supreme Court for midnight hearing of Yakub Memon's last-ditch plea. "It was unprecedented even though it did not change his fate," the newspaper said.
It accused the administration of failing to provide all the details regarding Yakub's surrender to the court. "This is their way of punishing a man for crimes committed by others."
This is how Urdu newspaper Akhbar-e-Mashrik summed up Yakub Memon's hanging: Har daleel rayegaan, har ilteza be-asar (All arguments turned useless, all appeals ineffective).
The lead story of Akhbar-e-Mashrik touched upon Yakub Memon's wait on Wednesday night in hopes that his sentence might be commuted to life. "He could not sleep the whole night."
Roznama Sahafat, in a report headlined "Yakub ke liye puri raat jaga aadha mulk” (half of the country spent a sleepless night for Yakub's sake), blamed both the BJP and the Congress of playing politics with the issue. "They are the same. Afzal Guru was hanged when a Congress government was in power at the Centre, while Yakub has been sent to the gallows when the Narendra Modi government is in power. Now no one can accuse them of Muslim appeasement," it said.
A report in Hamara Samaj talked about Mumbai streets swamped with huge crowd, and sea of people at the Bada Qabristan cemetery in south Mumbai. "The Memons' home virtually turned into a police barracks as plainclothes policemen kept an eye on those going in and coming out," the newspaper said.
Akhbar-e-Mashrik said: "Hundreds congregated on the burial ground; such a huge crowd had not been seen in recent memory. There was hardly any place to stand inside."
Akhbar-e-Mashrik also carried an appeal by Urdu journalists: "We knock the door of the country's highest court to seek justice, and in the same way we should respect its verdict. We should maintain peace and harmony.”