All mainstream political parties have welcomed the execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru as the culmination of due process of law. However, the endorsement from the BJP came with a caveat.

The case of the principal opposition party, which for several years has been critical of the UPA government on the handling of the case, was that the execution was long overdue.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley maintained that the government which had been unable to explain the delay in the execution was compelled to act due to public opinion.

“India must today, as it did on 13th December 2001 speak with one voice and give a clear message to the world that India is not a soft state and those who attack India, its’ sovereignty and its institutions, will be held accountable. Though belated, justice has been done.”

The BJP, however, concurred with the Congress that the execution would send a message to terror outfits that India would not tolerate terrorism.

“The law has taken its course. The Parliament attack convict has been hanged. We have sent a message to the world that we cannot tolerate terrorism at any cost. Anybody committing any acts of terror will be punished. People of our country and government have zero tolerance for terrorism,” Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said.

On the charge of the BJP, the Congress spokesperson reminded it that terrorists released by the NDA government during the Kandahar plane hijack episode (in December 1999) were those who planned the attack on Parliament.

BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad contended that the death sentence should have been carried out after the confirmation of the capital punishment by the Supreme Court in 2005.

“The execution of Afzal Guru is a part of the legal and judicial process which ought to have taken place much earlier. The attack on the Indian Parliament happened in 2001, that is 12 years ago, which was an attack on India,” he said.

“Why this sort of delay in spite of the overpowering desire of the people of the country that those who are accused of such a heinous offence ought to be given the capital punishment as affirmed by the highest court of the land. This question would remain important and an answer would have to be found out,” he said.

In Chennai, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said the decision to hang Guru was not based on political considerations.

CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said the law of the land had taken its course.

Shiv Sena, another party strident in its demand for Guru’s execution, welcomed his hanging.

  • It was long overdue, feels BJP

  • Law has taken its course: Yechury