PDP, NC, separatists condemn execution

The execution of Afzal Guru was condemned by both the separatists and pro-India political parties while the Lashkar-e-Toiba warned of retaliatory attacks across India.

The ruling National Conference expressed "sadness" over the execution and sought death for soldiers responsible for killings in Kashmir.

"The execution will adversely impact the situation in Kashmir. It will give new ammunition to the separatist camp which was otherwise losing support," CM Omar Abdullah's uncle and party leader Mustafa Kamal said.

He added, "Many people who have committed graver crimes and have been awarded death by Indian courts are not hanged due to political compulsions. The Centre should also award death sentences to soldiers who have committed crimes like Pathribal killings, Kupwara massacre. Recently Sushil Kumar Shinde said RSS and VHP workers are also involved in the killing of people. They should also be awarded similar sentences."

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party demanded that Afzal's body be returned to his family so he could be buried in his village. PDP spokesman Naeem Akhtar also alleged that the state government was complicit in the execution. "Whatever are the repercussions of this hanging, the chief minister would be equally responsible for that. He is not just the chief minister but also a partner in the UPA."

The hardline faction of the Hurriyat said Afzal was not involved in the attack on Parliament. "It is injustice. Afzal Guru sahab was not personally involved in the attack. He was not given a chance to defend himself in trial court," said Hurriyat chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani. "His family should have been given a chance to meet him prior to the execution." Geelani has called a three-day shutdown.

The moderate Hurriyat faction announced four days of mourning for Afzal.

Militant outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba threatened "revenge" attacks. "Hanging of Afzal does not end it all. Soon India will have to face revenge for this act," Lashkar spokesman Dr Abdullah Ghaznavi told BBC. "New Delhi should reveal dates for hanging those involved in the bombing of Samjhuta Express. Their own investigation has found some Hindu terrorists involved in terrorist acts. When will India hang them?"

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