Row over Afzal Guru's death penalty boils over, victims call for 'immediate execution'
New Delhi/Nainital, May 28(ANI): Stung by the delay in executing the death penalty of Afzal Guru, who was convicted of conspiracy in the December 2001 attack on the Parliament, victims and activists have called for reforms in the country's legal framework to end the perceived 'politicisation' of such sensitive rows.
Guru was awarded death sentence by a court in 2002 after being convicted on charges of conspiracy to attack the Parliament, waging war against the country and murder.
The Delhi High Court upheld the death sentence in 2003 and his appeal was further rejected by the Supreme Court two years later.
Following this, Afzal filed a mercy petition with the President, who forwarded it to the Home Ministry for its comments.
Addressing a news conference in New Delhi, former President of the All India Youth Congress and chief of the All India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) Maninderjeet Singh Bitta said that the victims of extremism would get true justice only with Guru's execution.
"All of us, the victims of militant attacks, will get justice only when Afzal Guru, who orchestrated the attack on the temple of our constitution, the parliament, will be executed. All these families whose loved ones were killed in the attack have been waiting for his execution since years," Bitta said on Friday.
"We will get justice only when Ajmal Kasab, who perpetrated the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, who attacked the economic state of India, will be executed. We will not get justice till this happens," he added.
Bitta also called for the formulation of a new legislation to enable speedy execution of Supreme Court decisions and to ensure justice is not only served, but also seen to have been served.
"A new decision, a new legislation must be formulated in India to ensure that after the Supreme Court announces its decision, the file must not be returned to the politicians. There is huge confusion in the minds of Indians, that whether the Supreme Court is bigger or the politicians who sit on files for years," Bitta said.
"I got justice for the Delhi blasts after 18 years. This wait was not because of a delay in the Supreme Court. This delay of justice was caused due to discrepancies in the Home ministry. They delay has been caused in the Law Ministry and the offices of the state government. The same delay is being caused in the Afzal Guru case. The Supreme Court has given its decision," he added.
The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre has faced massive criticism from almost all fronts for its alleged 'lackadaisical' attitude in the Afzal Guru case.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also criticized the government for not hanging Guru, attributing the delay to vote-bank politics.
A group of gun-and grenade-wielding militants had stormed the Parliament premises in December 2001, but were stopped by security personnel.
The attack led to the death of a dozen people, including six policemen, a civilian and five militants of the Lashkar-e-Taiba. (ANI)
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