Delhi govt backs death for Afzal Guru

The Delhi govt Tuesday backed death sentence for Afzal Guru.

Updated: May 19, 2010, 10:22 AM IST

New Delhi: Four years after its opinion was sought by the Centre, the Delhi government on Tuesday backed the death sentence for Afzal Guru but with a remark that the implications of law and order should be closely examined while carrying out the execution of the Parliament attack convict.

In a late evening development, the Delhi Lt Governor`s office sent back the file seeking more clarification over the remark of the Delhi government.

"We received the file from Delhi government pertaining to
Afzal Guru`s mercy petition yesterday. We have sent back the
file to Delhi government this evening seeking further
clarification," highly placed sources in the LG`s office said.

They indicated that the comment of Delhi government on
the issue was not very clear and that is why the file was sent

Asked to clarify specifically on the issue why the file
has been returned, they refused to elaborate saying the issue
is very sensitive.

The city government sent the file after the 16th reminder
from Union Home Ministry recently seeking its opinion on the

"We don`t have any problem with the Supreme Court verdict
but the implications of the law and order situation should be
closely examined while carrying out the execution," a top
government official said.

Meanwhile, the city government, in a communication to the
Union Home Ministry, has replied to the latest reminder on the
matter, the sources said.

The Delhi government has been criticised by Opposition
parties for dilly-dallying on the matter for nearly four years
and the capital punishment given to Pakistani terrorist Ajmal
Amir Kasab in the Mumbai attacks case brought the issue under
fresh focus.

Guru was awarded death sentence by a Delhi court on
December 18, 2002 after being convicted of conspiracy to
attack Parliament on December 13, 2001, waging war against
the country and murder.

The death sentence was upheld by Delhi High Court on
October 29, 2003 and his appeal was rejected by the Supreme
Court two years later on August 4, 2005.

A Sessions Court also fixed the date of his hanging on
October 20, 2006 in Tihar jail.

Following this, Afzal filed a mercy petition with
the President, who forwarded it to Union Home Ministry
for its comments.

The Union Home Ministry had sent the file to Delhi
government`s Home Department for its comments as per the
mandatory procedure.