CHIEF MINISTER Mulayam Singh Yadav today opposed the death sentence handed over to deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussain. His statement, however, has caused a flutter in the well-entrenched Shia community in the state.
While Yadav told newsmen here on Monday that grave “injustice” had been meted out to Saddam Hussain, prominent Shia leaders Dr Kalbe Sadiq, Maulana Kalbe Jawad and All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) chairman Maulana Mirza Mohammad Athar said those opposing the death punishment did not know the ground realities in Iraq and cruelties perpetrated by Saddam Hussein on the Iraqis.
Yadav said the US conspired to attack the Saddam regime on the pretext of it manufacturing biological weapons, which the US army failed to prove. He said Saddam was a friend if India and had helped the country during the petroleum crisis.
He said the Congress-led UPA government should strongly oppose the death sentence. “The UPA government should consult all parties before taking a strong stand on the issue,” he said while assailing the US for destroying Iraq.
However, Dr Sadiq, who is close to the chief minister, said those opposing the death sentence should also know the atrocities committed by Saddam Hussain on the Iraqis. He said Saddam did not spare any sect. Dr Sadiq said just one death sentence was not enough for such a person and he should in fact be hanged “one lakh” times.
Maulana Kalbe Jawad said Saddam had inflicted untold miseries on Iraqis and he deserved death sentence. Maulana Athar said the issue should not be turned into a Shia-Sunni thing. He said those arguing in favour of Saddam Hussein were in fact trying to shield a tyrant. Athar said capital punishment was small punishment as compared to his crime against humanity.
Athar said the chief minister was always “guided” by the sentiments of a particular sect in Islam. Naib Imam Eidgah Maulana Khalid Rashid, however, condemned death punishment to Saddam. He said judicial verdict indicated “US terrorism”. firstname.lastname@example.org