Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: The former BJP president, M. Venkaiah Naidu, on Thursday demanded that the Government execute the death sentence awarded to Mohammad Afzal Guru.He criticised those demanding "mercy to the dreaded terrorist."

He told reporters here that Afzal pleaded guilty and did not seek pardon. He neither expressed regret nor apologised to the people or families of the victims who were killed while protecting the lives of the MPs. But someof the "Left-oriented intellectuals," "pseudo-secularists" and politicians from the Left parties and the Congress were demanding mercy. "These champions of freedom of speech and human rights never protest against terrorist attacks on people."

Mr. Naidu described as "atrocious and anti-national" the stand taken by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on the issue and said people who indulged in terrorist activities should be brought to book and "made to pay the price for traumatising Indian citizens."

He urged the Home Ministry to give its opinion in a day or two so that the President could "dispose of the petition before the D-day."

Mr. Naidu also demanded that the Government call off talks with Pakistan till that country responded positively by dismantling terrorist infrastructure and enacted a stringent law on the lines of POTA to tackle terrorism.