‘Think of J&K before deciding on Afzal`s clemency’

Centre`s interlocutor on Kashmir Dileep Padgaonkar on Thursday said that any decision on the mercy petition of the Parliament attack mastermind Afzal Guru should be taken keeping in mind the present situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

New Delhi: Centre`s interlocutor on Kashmir
Dileep Padgaonkar on Thursday said that any decision on the mercy
petition of the Parliament attack mastermind Afzal Guru should
be taken keeping in mind the present situation in Jammu and
Kashmir.
He said personally he was "against death penalty" in
principle.

"I do not have the slightest of doubt in my mind that
Afzal Guru has committed heinous crime and he has been
convicted by the highest court in the country," Padgaonkar
said.

However, "the decision to carry out the punishment must
be seen in the present context of Jammu and Kahsmir," he said.

Guru, hailing from the Valley, was convicted in the
Parliament attack case of 2001 in which 13 persons including
security personnel were killed by the hands of five terrorists
of Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

He was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in 2004.
However, Guru`s execution was stayed following a mercy
petition filed by his wife. The Home Ministry has recommended
rejection of the mercy petition to the President.
The Home Ministry is believed to have cited the Delhi
government`s recommendation which also favoured execution of
Guru, an issue which has been hanging fire for seven years and
has been a subject matter of intense political controversy.

PTI

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