Shinde’s Statement ‘Poll Plank’: Family


‘If he is true to his word, let him return Afzal’s body’  

SRINAGAR: The family of Afzal Guru on Thursday took strong exception to Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s statement that Guru’s execution was mishandled.

Aijaz Guru, brother of Afzal said that if Shinde is so remorseful on the Guru’s execution, then the government of India should return the body of   his brother.

“Shinde’s remarks are simply a poll plank. The statement has been made keeping in view the ensuing Parliament elections in India especially in Kashmir where the Congress has aligned with the National Conference,” Aijaz told KNS.

He also took a jibe at the political mainstream of Jammu and Kashmir saying that they also talk about Guru just to reap political benefits. “We have already said that if chief minister Jayalalitha and Punjab government could save their convicts from gallows why did the mainstream parties of Kashmir failed to do so,” Aijaz said.

The brother of Afzal said that his family wants that Guru’s body be returned to it as soon as possible. “Everyone, including mainstream, separatists, civil society, bar associations, and all those who matter should raise their voice in support of return of Afzal’s mortal remains from Tihar jail,” he appealed.  

Aijaz said that his brother’s execution involves many procedural lapses. “He was hanged while the death sentence of many other convicts was commuted to the life sentence by the Supreme Court. He asked mainstream parties to introspect about Tamil Nadu and Punjab government’s functioning as to how they could save their citizens from gallows,” he added.

Pertinently Guru’s family had received a letter informing it about the execution plans two days after Guru was hanged in Tihar Jail in the morning on February 9, 2013.

Shinde’s while talking to a Delhi based news channel Wednesday, said: “I had already instructed and given the file (of Afzal) four days before. And that was the job of the Secretaries (to inform his family). But something went wrong somewhere and they didn’t inform a day before but informed in the night that the following day was his execution. In such cases I am of the view that the family must be informed properly as per jail rules.”

Convicted in 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament in which 13 people were killed, Guru had repeatedly pleaded innocence and his wife Tabbasum had also filed a petition in 2006 asking for his death sentence to be commuted, which was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee days before he was hanged. 

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