In a reminder of scenes that were witnessed when hordes of people attended the funeral procession of Mumbai bomb blasts convict Yakub Memon, thousands of people were reported to have attended the funeral ceremonies of eight SIMI terrorists who were killed in an encounter in Madhya Pradesh on Monday.
According to The Indian Express, whose headline “And They Hanged Yakub” could be argued to have legitimized such support to terrorists, over 2000 people took part in funeral processions of seven SIMI terrorists who were buried at various places in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday.
Out of these seven, five belonged to Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh where they were buried. Another terrorist hailed from Ujjai district and was buried there, while one belonged to Maharashtra, but since no one came to claim his body, police buried him in Bhopal where the encounter had taken place.
The body of the eight terrorist, that of Mujib Shaikh, was taken to Ahmedabad by his relatives, and latest reports suggest that a big crowd assembled there too for his funeral today.
Mujib was accused in Ahmedabad serial blasts and had earlier worked with terrorists and underworld dons like Dawood and Latif. Incidentally the character of Latif will be played by Shah Rukh Khan in the upcoming movie Raees.
This apparent support for terrorists among common Muslims can be argued to be a result of the usual “liberal” narrative where every terrorist – whether punished through lawful trial like Yakub or killed in a police encounter like these SIMI terrorists – is painted as a person who has been wronged by the state and the society. Ironically, the same liberal narrative claims to work against identity politics, while reducing Muslims to just their identity.