Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind general secretary Mahmood A. Madani has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi expressing anguish at the manner of hanging of Afzal Guru.

He listed, among other things, the “denial of opportunity of legal remedy” to the prisoner, not providing timely information to his family, resulting in their not being able to meet him one final time and not fulfilling his last wish. The Maulana said Dr. Singh and Ms. Gandhi had till now been seen as leaders deeply concerned about and sensitive to human rights issues and in Ms. Gandhi’s case this was evident in the pardon she extended to Rajiv Gandhi’s killers.

“What an irony that a highly humane and noble gesture is now being made to be the mark of double standard and discrimination against a particular community.” Mr. Madani said he believed in “zero tolerance” toward terrorism and felt let down by the government which, by mishandling the Afzal case, had alienated a community and set back the process of reconciliation with the Kashmiri people.

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