One must welcome the right and bold decision of the UPA government, after observing due process of the law. Attacking Parliament, which represents the heart of the nation, amounts to an attack on its sovereignty, which is non-negotiable. As such, Afzal Guru deserved exemplary punishment. In this I disagree with the line adopted in your special editorial, of February 9 being contrary to “the growing ethics-based global consensus against the death penalty.” Further, his hanging proves that India is not soft on terrorism.
It is sad though that political parties are once again playing politics.
It came 11 years too late and after much dilly-dallying by those in power in Delhi. There was no acceptable reason for delaying the decision any further. Once the Supreme Court rejected the appeal, claims relating to adequacy of evidence, a fair trial and natural justice all fall flat. Muffled voices expressing apprehension regarding the maintenance of law and order have found no favour with the Centre. Again, the ongoing debate on the acceptability of the death sentence has not deterred the Centre in taking a decision, though belated. Now it is for those entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining law and order to take full command of the situation and ensure that no untoward incidents occur.
Although one may debate that vengeance is the only factor promoting the death sentence, the execution is a welcome step. Afzal Guru’s existence was a threat. He could well have been used as a bargaining point in a future terror act. February 9 has finally given some amount of consolation to the families of those who lost their lives in the attack on Parliament.