Shall we allow the state to go on this killing spree?
A Killing Spree by Indian State: Let us protest
Attend a public meeting
Date – 9th March 2013, Saturday.
Venue – Press Club, Basheer Bagh, Hyderabad
Time – 5:30 PM
Gallows in Belgaum Central Prison, Karnataka
A Killing Spree by Indian State: Let us protest
The above is the place, with all certainty we can say, where the associates of Veerappan are going to be hanged by Indian state. It is the actual photo of only hanging facility in Belgaum Central prison, Karnataka. It is the mechanized and efficient gallows, where 3 persons can be hanged at a time. Perhaps Indian state is thinking like a Nero, who said, ‘I wish all the Romans have only one neck’.
Indian state seems to be on a killing spree. After Kasab and Afzal Guru, it is the turn of aides of Veerappan, who are lodged in Belgaum Central prison of Karnataka. The prison which incarcerated George Fernandaze during emergency is going to kill them.
It is SC which imposed death penalty
We have to say this even though the Supreme Court stayed the execution of Gnanaprakash, Simon, Meesekhar Madaiah and Bilavendra on Tuesday. Because it was actually the Supreme Court that converted their life imprisonment into death penalty. That is a symptomatic of the trend that even the judiciary thinks like the executive. There is of course nothing in the law or common sense which says that a higher Court cannot take a more harsh view of a crime than the trial Court. But the general experience has been that trial Courts sometimes get carried away by the emotional overtones of a case or popular perceptions of right and wrong and impose severe punishment. It is usually left to the higher Courts to take a dispassionate view of the matter suitable to the notion of even-handed dispensation of justice.
But in the ‘Veerappan case’ it has been the turn of the Supreme Court to play the role that trial Courts normally do. From the time of the kidnap episode of the Kannada film star Raj Kumar, what has dominated the mind of the Supreme Court is the anguish that small groups of outlaws are dictating terms to the legitimate State, the fount of law and lawful authority. The inability of the administration in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to put an end to this situation has rankled with the Supreme Court. It even went out of its way, ignoring the normal perimeter of Constitutional propriety, to ask the two Governments to quit if they could not arrest Veerappan.
There is ample evidence to show that death penalty does not act as a deterrent to capital crime, because evidence shows no difference in the frequency of such offences before and after abolition. The real reason why people argue for retaining death penalty is a desire for retribution, which may be understandable in individuals, but not defensible when pleaded by a civilised Society. The impossibility of correcting mistaken judgement of guilt in case of imposition of the ultimate punishment is another consideration to which the retentionists have no answer. Capital punishment does moral wrong by imputing to the offender the full individual responsibility for the offence, ignoring the contribution of circumstances, more particularly of a social character. To these and related arguments, there is no reasonable answer.
But we do not live in the realm of logic and reason, but in that of power and resistance. And power desires the opportunity to impose extreme retribution on its subjects. The Indian state has taken the existing sense of insecurity to its advantage. The resistance built over the decades into the institutions of society, including the law and legal institutions, ought to have been a great asset to day-to-day resistance to the arbitrary demands of power. But that has been the first casualty of the current times. Human rights principles built into the law and legal culture are ceding way to inhuman assumptions about human affairs under the neo-liberal assault on governance. That sets the context for the ideological devaluation of any humanist understanding of crime and punishment.
In the near future all that we can reasonably expect in the matter of the death penalty is therefore an increase in the frequency with which the Courts impose the extreme punishment. And the indifference with which the Executive will reject mercy petitions and quietly execute the people, which the nation will know only after 24 hours.
We must oppose death sentence as a matter of principle. Complete abolition of the death sentence is one of the demands, worldwide, of the human rights movement. As of now 55 countries have abolished death penalty, and a number of countries have restricted it to very exceptional cases. Total abolition has been on the agenda of the U.N for many years now. The United States is one of the countries resisting the reform and India is unfortunately in the same league.
The sense of insecurity that is prevailing in the country in recent past has been taken as a perfect timing by the Indian state to concretely implement what it has been arguing in UN Forum on the death penalty: A big No to abolish the death penalty from statutes and practice.
Shall we allow the state to go on this killing spree? Let’s protest….
Meeting starts at sharp 5:30 PM
S. Jeevan Kumar
Gorrepati Madhava Rao, Human Rights Forum
D.Suresh Kumar, Andhra Pradesh Civil liberties committee
Lateef Mohammad Khan, Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee
Dr K. Murali, Human Rights Forum
We invite all human rights activist friends to please attend and spread the word, circulate this info among others
Human Rights Forum – Hyderabad City unit
Contact – Mothkuri Srinivas – 09866061350, Karthik Navayan – 09346677007