SRINAGAR: Describing the execution of Mohammad Afzal Guru at Tihar Jail today as disappointing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today demanded the handing over of his body to the family for last rites. In a statement issued here the party president Mehbooba Mufti said while the hanging should not have been carried out, the return of Afzal’s body was the least the government could do to show its concern for humanitarian values.
Mehbooba said we believe that whatever the requirements of legal process, there was a need for the government to take into consideration the overall political impact of this execution, which is why the option of mercy has been provided under our constitution.
She said the PDP had, keeping this in view made an appeal to the president of India in 2011 to grant clemency to Afzal Guru and commute his death sentence into life imprisonment.
“We feel that at a time when there is a need to step up measures to reduce the trust deficit between the state and rest of the country the execution of Afzal Guru could produce results to the contrary. Our party is generally in favour of scrapping death penalty from the statute book and we reiterate that position once again”, she said.
Referring to chief minister’s claim that he had no role in carrying out the execution, Mehbooba said that the state government cannot be absolved of its responsibility in taking this crucial decision that can have long term political implications on the state. The NC is part of the UPA and it must share the responsibility for this decision she said and added “power sharing can’t be in isolation of sharing the fallout of decisions”.
Appealing for restraint in expression of feelings, Mehbooba said the people of the state have already suffered too long and too much at the hands of this trigger happy government with loss of life in 2010 only the latest which awaits closure. Those cases are still awaiting justice in spite of assurances of probe.
Condemning the use of force on protestors at various places, especially in Baramulla district, Mehbooba said the government has once again exposed its trigger happy nature. She said many have been wounded in police action and reportedly about a dozen of them have sustained bullet injuries. She said contrary to elsewhere in the country, in Kashmir bullet seems to be the preferred weapon of the forces which unfortunately contributes to cynicism, alienation and anger apart from killing, maiming and disabling countless people trying to use their democratic right to protest.
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