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Afzal Guru deserved the same reprieve as Rajiv Gandhi`s killers: Mufti

IANS | Last Updated: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 14:01

Zee Media Bureau

Srinagar: In what can lead to a huge political debate, People`s Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday said that Jammu and Kashmir has been unfairly treated as the Supreme Court commuted death sentence of Rajiv Gandhi`s assassins to life imprisonment.

"By this decision, the Supreme Court has once again made the people of Jammu and Kashmir realise that there is a separate law for Kashmir and the rest of the country. I think they are now sure that they have always been discriminated against, be it on any issue," ANI quoted Mufti as saying.
"The honourable Supreme Court had once said that `to satisfy the collective conscience of the country`, death sentence was given to Afzal Guru. Although, there were many things which were unexplained and there were not much evidence against him," she said.

However, Mufti welcomed the apex court`s decision to commute the death sentence of Rajiv Gandhi murder convicts to life imprisonment.
"The same should have been done in Afzal Guru`s case. Had the same been done in that case, things would have been different in Kashmir today", IANS quoted Mufti as saying.

The Indian government executed Guru in the Tihar Jail in New Delhi on February 9, 2013 for masterminding the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001.

Union Minister Farooq Abdullah, meanwhile, called for abolishing death penalty and said that hanging of Afzal Guru was unjustified.

He advocated giving life sentence in such cases, saying that the accused should rot in jail.

In a major relief to three condemned prisoners in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, the Supreme Court today commuted their death sentence to life imprisonment on the ground of 11 years delay in deciding their mercy plea by the Centre.

A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam rejected the Centre`s submission that there was no unreasonable delay in deciding their mercy plea and the condemned prisoners did not go through agonising experience as they were enjoying life behind the bars.

First Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 13:41

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