What I’m facing is worse than death: Afzal Guru

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 20:10

New Delhi: With the decision on his mercy
petition prolonging, Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru has
moved an application in Supreme Court seeking early disposal
of his case, saying solitary confinement was worse than death.



Afzal has moved an application in the apex court in
March seeking an early decision on his mercy petition which is
pending with the government for the past four years, his
lawyer N D Pancholi said.



During his last meeting with Afzal last week in Tihar
jail, Pancholi said that the convict had told him that
what he was "facing now is worse than death".



The death row convict has said he was "fed up with the
solitary confinement" and the "delay" in deciding on his mercy
petition, Pancholi said.



Pancholi said Afzal forwarded his application through
Jail officials in March after his first plea sent personally
in January was returned asking him to approach through the
proper channel.

"Afzal`s contention is that he is sentenced to death
and not solitary confinement. He has said the delay was not
helping him and a decision should be taken as soon as
possible," the lawyer said, adding his client was very much
"disturbed" over the delay in taking a decision.



"He is saying it is better that he is hanged. He is
saying he be hanged and he is ready for that. For him,
solitary confinement is not helping him," Pancholi said.



Afzal had also requested that he be shifted to a jail
in Jammu and Kashmir so that his family can meet him.



His mercy petition has come into limelight following
the 16th reminder sent by Union Home Ministry to Delhi
government asking it to sent its response on his petition.



The Delhi government last week sent its views on his
mercy petition file to the Lieutenant Governor Tejendar Khanna
with comments that it had no objection to the hanging but its
implications on law and order needed to be kept in mind.



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 four, 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.



PTI



First Published: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 20:10

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