New Delhi: The CPI-M on Wednesday urged the government to commute the death sentence of Mumbai blasts accused Yakub Menon, saying he had chosen to surrender and cooperate with Indian authorities.
While describing the 1993 blasts as "a heinous terrorist attack" that killed 257 innocents, the CPI-M said that Memon's death sentence would not serve the interests of justice.
"Yakub Memon was part of the conspiracy. But unlike the main actors, he chose to surrender before the Indian authorities and stand trial," the Communist Party of India-Marxist said in a statement.
"He also brought his family back to India to stand trial.
"He has provided information to the authorities about the involvement of Pakistani personnel in the attack and the shelter given to the terrorists and is therefore also the only witness available to the government.
"Yet, he was singled out for the death sentence while the main perpetrators are at large," the statement said.
It said it would serve the ends of justice if Yakub Memon's death penalty was commuted to life sentence.
"Even those convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case with the death sentence have had their sentences commuted to life.
"The CPI-M has been in principle advocating the abolition of the death penalty. Hence Yakub Memon's mercy petition, which has been filed, should be accepted," it said.
The CPI-M said it was imperative that the criminals responsible for the deadly Mumbai attack should be brought to book and punished.
"There is ample evidence that the main culprits have escaped the law with the help of agencies across the border.
"Every effort has to be made from all fora available to bring them back to India to stand trial and consequent punishment under law."