Refusing to comment on speculation on the timing of the execution of Ajmal Kasab, a day before the convening of Parliament, the Bharatiya Janata Party said it was “an issue of national importance,” but it had not yet brought closure to the families of the victims of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

Party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman told journalists here on Wednesday: “The people of India wanted to see justice done, particularly the people of Mumbai. The affected families have never had a chance to have closure on this matter, but even now I think that the closure has not happened.” The execution decision “should have been taken long time ago,” but even now “justice is not complete.”

For, “the handlers of Kasab have not been brought to justice. Even in Pakistan the case is moving very slowly. That was an observation that the former Home Minister, P. Chidambaram, had made. He had commented that the progress is very slow,” she said.

Ms. Sitharaman said the execution of other persons convicted of crimes related to terrorism including Afzal Guru, who was convicted in the 2001 attack on Parliament, should also be carried out.

‘Sibal’s remark unfair’

She termed “unfair” Union Minister Kapil Sibal’s remark that the Congress took decisive action in the case of Kasab’s execution as compared to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government that released terrorists following the hijacking of an Indian Airlines flight to Kandahar, Afghanistan, in December 1999.

“Was it the BJP who surrendered to the terrorists or was it the government of India?... If you have a situation where a flightload of passengers who are Indian citizens being held hostage, won’t the government of the day want to save every life?”

Moreover, Ms. Sitharaman said, the decision to release the terrorists was taken “after due consultations with all parties.”

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