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94 percent of death row convicts are Dalits or from the minorities : Varun Gandhi

(FILES) In this file picture taken on November 20, 2004 Grandson of late former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Varun Gandhi delivers his speech during a rally to protest against the arrest of Hindu religious leader Jayendra Saraswathi in New Delhi. The grandson of late Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi came under fire on March 17, 2009 for allegedly inciting violence against Muslims in comments that highlighted the country's religious tensions. Varun Gandhi, who is campaigning for next month's general elections, reportedly told a rally that his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would "cut the head of Muslims." AFP PHOTO/Tekee TANWAR (Photo credit should read TEKEE TANWAR/AFP/Getty Images)
(FILES) In this file picture taken on November 20, 2004 Grandson of late former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Varun Gandhi delivers his speech during a rally to protest against the arrest of Hindu religious leader Jayendra Saraswathi in New Delhi. The grandson of late Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi came under fire on March 17, 2009 for allegedly inciting violence against Muslims in comments that highlighted the country's religious tensions. Varun Gandhi, who is campaigning for next month's general elections, reportedly told a rally that his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would "cut the head of Muslims." AFP PHOTO/Tekee TANWAR (Photo credit should read TEKEE TANWAR/AFP/Getty Images)

New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party MP Varun Gandhi on Saturday came out against the death penalty, noting most of the death row convicts are Dalits or from the minorities.

In an article titled “The Noose Casts A Shameful Shadow,” he said: “75 percent of the convicts on death row belong to the socially and economically marginalised classes; 94 percent of death row convicts are Dalits or from the minorities.

“The poor consistently get the short end of the legal stick. The death penalty is a consequence of poor legal representation and institutional bias. The gallows remain a poor man’s trap,” he added.

Pitching for abolition of death penalty, Gandhi, an MP from Uttar Pradesh’s Sultanpur, contended that “society can be protected from miscreants, criminals and terrorists through less disproportionate means that preserve our dignity, values and institutions”.

He also termed the hangman a disgrace to any civilized society.

“Beyond its ethics, a basic unpredictability makes capital punishment a social evil,” he said, stressing that India, as one of the 58-odd countries where death penalty is retained, needs to recognise the changing global scenario.

“The death penalty is not just a remedy available at the disposal of the law, but a human rights issue, beyond the pale of law. For the largest democracy, the death penalty is an anomaly. It needs correction. Many that live do deserve death. And some that die deserve life. One must not be too eager to deal out death in judgement,” he said.

 

—-IANS