Left raises questions on Afzal Guru’s execution

Left parties on Wednesday questioned the "secretive" manner in which Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was hanged.

New Delhi: Left parties on Wednesday questioned the "secretive" manner in which Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was hanged and the "denial" of right to move a review petition.

"The rejection of the mercy petition was not informed to the convict and the family, and time was not given for approaching the Courts on this issue. The family of Afzal Guru was not given the opportunity to meet him for the last time," CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said.

Unlike in the cases of the assassins of Rajiv Gandhi or Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, "the rejection of the mercy petition of Afzal Guru was followed by his instant hanging. In all these cases, political considerations have determined the implementation of the judicial verdicts," he said in an editorial in the CPI(M) organ `People`s Democracy`.

Yechury also said the case for abolishing death penalty was "highly relevant" and added that his party was "presently engaged in a discussion to review its position on the matter."

CPI mouthpiece `New Age` also criticised the "haste and the secretive manner" of the hanging, saying the UPA-II government did this "to score brownie points over BJP in the run up to the great battle in 2014 and in the process violated rule of law and basic human rights on more than one score."

"After the rejection of mercy petition by the President, the convict has the right of review petition. In this case that right has been denied," it said.

"Not only as per rules but even on simple humanitarian ground, the family of the convict is allowed to have last meeting within the prison. This too has not been complied by the government. Thus it is accused of not only violating laws but basic human rights," the New Age editorial said.

Observing that the government had argued that `secretive approach` was adopted due to its impact on law and order, it said this has "worked contrary to expectations. The entire Kashmir Valley had been put under curfew. There are clashes between protesters and security forces. The entire illegality and secretive approach of the government has further strengthened the sense of alienation among Kashmiris."