Afzal Guru family drives controversy erupts over hanging communication

Afzal Guru

A controversy erupted today over the purported communication from the Centre to the family of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru about the decision to hang him on Saturday with the family alleging they had come to know about his hanging from TV channels and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah joining the criticism.

Though Union Home Secretary R K Singh had yesterday said tersely that the family of Guru, a resident of Sopore in North Kashmir, was sent a communication through speedpost, the family claimed having not received any such communication raising questions as to whether there was a serious effort to inform the family.

"Guru's family was informed about the decision of the Government that his mercy petition has been rejected. This was done through speedpost," Singh had said. The 43-year-old death row convict was hanged at 8 AM and buried in Tihar jail yesterday in a secret operation.

Omar also questioned the rationale of informing Guru's family through post saying the reliability of the medium itself was questionable.

"If we are going to inform someone by post that his family member is going to be hanged, there is something seriously wrong with the system," he said.

The Chief Minister expressed concern about his government having been informed about the execution just 12 hours in advance and said he was hurt that the family of Guru had not been informed in due time.

Omar said it was a 'tragedy' that Guru was not allowed to meet his family before he was hanged and not allowed a 'final farewell' Omar said his government could have arranged a state government plane to take Guru's family to Delhi for meeting the death row convict before his hanging.

On Guru's family not allowed to meet him, Omar said, "I cannot reconcile myself to the fact that his (Afzal) family was not allowed to see him before he was killed or executed. That to my mind, on a human level, is the biggest tragedy of this execution."

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.