New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah raked up a controversy on Wednesday by drawing parallels between the death row convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case with the Parliament House attack convict Afzal Guru.
"If J&K assembly had passed a resolution similar to the Tamil Nadu one for Afzal Guru would the reaction have been as muted? I think not," Omar punched on the micro-blogging site Twitter.
Abdullah moaned that the sentiments of the people in Kashmir were unfairly treated outside the state.
Abdullah’s comments came a day after the Madras High Court had yesterday put an interim stay of 8 weeks on the execution of Rajiv Gandhi’s three killers. Also, the Tamil Nadu Assembly unanimously passed a resolution appealing to the President to revisit the mercy petitions of the three death row convicts.
Guru is on death row for his involvement in the 2001 Parliament attack conspiracy and his mercy petition is now pending with the President.
In the Kashmir Valley, the issue of death sentence awarded to Guru for the 2001 Indian parliament attack has been a sensitive one. The state government apprehends widespread unrest if he is hanged.
Abdullah does not favour death penalty for any convict, and he would not like someone whose hanging could derail peace in the state to be executed.
Agreeing with Omar, Afzal Guru`s lawyer Kamini Jaiswal said that the society has got divided so much that everything is politicised and everything gets communalised.
Reacting to the issue, the BJP slammed the J&K Chief Minister.
"Omar`s remarks are unfortunate. Had the Hurriyat leaders made such a comment, it would have been understandable. A responsible CM should not have made such comments," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.
His party colleague Balbir Punj dubbed Omar`s remarks as "shocking, irresponsible and unfortunate".
Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi declined to comment on the issue.
"We have clarified a number of times that the cases of death penalty involve a constitutional process, a legal process and an administrative process," Singhvi said.