Hyderabad/New Delhi: A row broke out over the death sentence for Yakub Memon in Mumbai blasts case with AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi today suggesting he met this fate because of his religion and BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj saying those who do not respect judiciary can go to Pakistan.
BJP also accused Owaisi of doing "communal politics" over terrorism and said that nothing can be "uglier" than this.
Triggering a controversy, Owaisi questioned the capital punishment awarded to Yakub, the lone convict in the Mumbai blasts case ordered to be sent to the gallows. He sought to know whether the perpetrators of demolition of disputed structure in Ayodhya, communal riots of Mumbai and Gujarat and other such sinister cases would get a similar punishment.
"Why have not perpetrators of demolition of Babri Masjid been convicted and will they also be given capital punishment as that is the original sin?" the Hyderabad MP asked while addressing a gathering in Hyderabad.
Alleging that the recommendations of Sri Krishna Commission have been put in cold storage both by the BJP-Shiv Sena and Congress-NCP governments in Maharashtra, he wondered how many have been convicted in the Mumbai riots of December, 1992 and January, 1993.
"1,000 people killed in communal riots of December, 1992 and January, 1993. How many are convicted?" he asked.
"Will Sadhvi Pragya, Col. Purohit and Swami Aseemanand, whose name cropped up in connection with Malegaon blasts, would get capital punishment," he said, adding "this is up to NIA to prove to courts." He questioned why the assassins of former prime minister
Rajiv Gandhi haven't been awarded the same punishment.
"Rajiv Gandhi and Beant Singh killers have backing of respective political parties, that is why they have not been given capital punishment," Owaisi said.
Hitting back at Owaisi, Sakshi Maharaj, a BJP MP, sparked another controversy.
"I think those who cannot respect this nation, cannot respect the national flag, cannot respect India's Constitution, cannot respect the judiciary such people do not have the right to live in India. The way is open, they can easily go to Pakistan," he said outside Parliament House.
Sakshi Maharaj said the politics of communalism must be put to an end.
"This country is not run by Owaisi. He(Memon) has been found guilty by courts not us. A terrorist is a terrorist. This politics of communalism should be stopped," he added.
Union Minister and senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said Owaisi has done "communal politics" over terrorism.
"There can not be an uglier form of communal politics. Owaisi sees religion in everything. The decision for execution is taken by the Supreme Court not government," Javadekar told reporters in Delhi.