Islamic Terrorism in India

Most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims

Can’t we hang Afzal Guru: The evidence against him is staggering

Posted by jagoindia on December 17, 2008

Can’t we hang a terrorist?
30 Nov 2008, 1026 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: A terrorist has been on the death row for three years now. Afzal Guru has been convicted by the Supreme Court. Had he been hanged after  fair trail and all due review, it might have sent out the message that India was going to be tough on terror. But that hasn’t happened.

Since September 2005 when SC dismissed petitions seeking review of its judgement upholding the death sentence on Afzal Guru in the December 13, 2001 Parliament attack case, the convicted terrorist has been marking time in Tihar. Why the delay?

Just ahead of his execution, scheduled for October 20, 2006, Afzal’s family filed a clemency plea with the President (Abdul Kalam), who referred it to the home ministry. The file was then sent to the Delhi government under a provision that requires the views of the state where the crime has occurred.

The Delhi government has not been in any hurry to convey its view. In fact, the file has not moved at all. An impression has grown, in the meantime, that the delay is political. Afzal’s sentencing triggered protests in Kashmir. J&K politicians like Omar Abdullah and Ghulam Nabi Azad have pleaded against hanging the convict.

So has the PDP. On one occasion, home minister Shivraj Patil said that hanging Afzal would prejudice India’s attempt to bring back Sarabjit, an Indian on the death row in Pakistan. Comparing Sarabjit, whom India denies was a spy, and a key conspirator in the Parliament attack seemed completely out of place.

Meanwhile, groups claiming that Afzal Guru did not get a fair trial said he did not get proper legal aid, that evidence against him was slim and he was framed by the J&K STF which forced him to become an informer. Afzal claimed he was tortured by STF.

The SC has dealt with the substantive points. It has noted that Afzal refused to appoint a lawyer, those suggested by him had turned down the brief and he finally had a counsel with experience of TADA cases.

The Supreme Court held Afzal guilty of conspiracy and planning a terror attack after knocking out his confessional statement. Though a confession is admissible as evidence under POTA, the apex court set it aside on procedural infirmities.

The evidence against Afzal is staggering . His mobile number, recovered from Mohammed, a slain terrorist who fell near Parliament’s Gate No. 1, was a crucial breakthrough. The court said that even minutes before the attack, as many as three calls were made by Mohammed to Afzal.

Also, there was evidence that the mobile was being exchanged between Afzal and Mohammed and other terrorists. The court noted that an instrument used by Afzal till Dec 12, 2001 was recovered from a dead terrorist the next day. Also, there was recovery of explosives, fake uniforms, a key laptop and identification of Afzal by a landlord of a premise where the terrorists stayed. So what is the government’s view?

Times view

The Times of India does not believe that man has the right to take another man’s life. But it does believe that after fair trial those held guilty of wanton killing should be punished in accordance with the law of the land. In the case of Mohammed Afzal Guru, it’s been three years that the country’s highest court has upheld the death sentence on him.

As the death sentence is the highest punishment in the country, and as it’s appropriate that the highest punishment should be given to terrorists, Afzal should be executed. The message would be loud and clear — India won’t tolerate terror.

One Response to “Can’t we hang Afzal Guru: The evidence against him is staggering”

  1. trutty said

    congress and the hired human right activist is the root of every problem in india

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