Omar 'not challenging' decision to hang Afzal: Digvijay Singh



New Delhi: Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Monday said that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was "not challenging" the decision to hang Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and felt that it was "not fair" if the last wish of the convict was not granted.

"For anyone who has to be hanged, there are certain proceedures, certain rules under which the person has the last wish and that has to be granted. I am not privy to what has gone through.

"The last wish of the accused has to be granted and if this is not being done, it is not fair. What Omar is saying is specifically this. He is not challenging the decision (to hang Afzal Guru)," the Congress general secretary said.

His remarks came a day after Omar said that the execution of Afzal Guru would reinforce a sense of alienation and injustice among generations of youth in the Valley and that it was a "tragedy" that Guru was not allowed to meet his family before he was hanged and not allowed a "final farewell".

The 43-year-old Parliament attack convict was hanged and buried in Tihar Jail premises in Delhi in a secret operation on Saturday.

At the AICC briefing, party spokesperson Sandip Dikshit also said that "the jail manual should be followed and whatever action has to be taken should be according to it.

"According to the Home Minister’s statement, a letter was sent on February 7 and he said that the family should have known by February 8. I have only heard this statement of the Home Minister and I am not aware of what really transpired on the ground," he said in reply to a volley of questions on why family members of the Parliament attack convict were not informed about his hanging in time.

To a question on return of Afzal Guru’s body to his family, he merely said this matter should be left to the government.

Dikshit also said that the trial was fair and three courts have held him guilty and the Supreme Court affirmed his death sentence. "So, I think we must accept what the Supreme Court has said because it is the best judge of whether somebody is guilty or not".

Asked about Omar's remarks that it will have to be proved to Kashmiris and to the world that the execution of Afzal Guru is not a "selective" one, Dikshit said that this procedure has been unfolding for several months and as and when the President rejected Afzal Guru’s mercy petition, the government took action.

"The other cases about which Omar Abdullah has mentioned in his statement, those are also with the President. And the moment it gets cleared from there, I am sure that we will deal with the other cases like we dealt with Guru’s case," the Congress spokesperson said.

He said that there is a process to everything and that does not mean that a process has to be jumped.

"There is a right of appeal to all people and it is for the president and the government to view whatever fresh evidence may be presented and they will take on view on them. I am sure that the same treatment would be accorded to everyone whose petition is rejected by the President," Dikshit said.

PTI