I’ve a question: Tabasum Guru

Srinagar:Describing her husband’s hanging as India’s collective shame, the widow of Afzal Guru Tuesday said that the verdict of Supreme Court regarding Rajiv Gandhi killers made it clear that India was not treating Kashmiris as equals.

Tabasum Guru, reacting to the Supreme Court's verdict on the assassins of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi said that her husband was a victim of “collective conscience” of Indian society. She said that hanging of Afzal Guru was a blot on justice because it was done on the basis of conscience rather than available evidences, facts and other considerations.

“Today I want to ask the Supreme Court why it strangulated justice and hurriedly pronounced its biased verdict in my husband’s case?”  

Tabasum said that Government of India hurriedly put Afzal to gallows without following procedure of law. The serial number of Afzal was 21 but he was hanged soon after Ajmal Qasab while others were not touched.

“Supreme Court, Government of India and its people were satisfied after hanging my husband who was innocent. It is irony that soon after the execution of my husband in Tihar Jail, the India’s highest court commuted the death sentences of many convicts into life term while it also said that there should be no repeat of Afzal Guru like execution. Is not it irony and murder of justice that after the execution of Muhammd Afzal, the India’s Supreme Court termed solitary confinement unconstitutional and passed a verdict before the death of any convict his family members must be informed,” Tabasum said. 

Tabassum's comments came hours after the Supreme Court commuted the death sentence of three key conspirators in former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, holding that the 11-year delay in deciding their mercy petitions was unreasonable and de-humanizing..

A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Shivakirti Singh, granted the relief on grounds of inexplicable, inordinate delay in the disposal of the mercy petition.

Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam woman suicide bomber on May 21, 1991, in Tamil Nadu.

Conspirators V. Sriharan alias Murugan, A.G. Perarivalan alias Arivu and T. Suthendraraja alias Santhan sought the commutation of their death sentence due to the long delay in deciding their mercy petitions. The men are lodged in the Vellore prison in Tamil Nadu.

While Perarivalan is an Indian, the other two are Sri Lankan Tamils. Sriharan was a member of the intelligence wing of the now vanquished Tamil Tigers, whose leader V. Prabhakaran ordered Gandhi's assassination.

Murugan's wife, Nalini, was also sentenced to death but it was commuted to life on the intervention of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

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