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Afzal Guru’s hanging condemned

Staff Reporter
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Capital punishment is inhuman: civil liberties panel

Activists of Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee along with other cluster organisations staging a protest in Hyderabad on Saturday.- Photo: Mohammed Yousuf
Activists of Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee along with other cluster organisations staging a protest in Hyderabad on Saturday.- Photo: Mohammed Yousuf

Several human rights organisations have condemned the hanging of Afzal Guru who masterminded the attack on Parliament.

Human Rights Forum (HRF) president S. Jeevan Kumar and general secretary V.S. Krishna described Guru’s execution as brazen injustice and a dark day for democracy. They said all five attackers of Parliament were killed in the gunfight that very day and Afzal Guru’s alleged involvement in planning the attack was the only reason he was sentenced to death. “This in no way meets the ‘rarest of rare cases’,” they said.

The Forum office-bearers demanded a moratorium on executions with a view to ultimately abolish death penalty.

The Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee said capital punishment was inhuman and went against the universal declaration of human rights by United Nations. The hanging took place at a time when the UN recently assembled to seek abolition of capital punishment all over the world. The committee demanded India to follow international stands of justice and fair trial.

Meanwhile, civil rights activist G. Haragopal said in Ongole that it was a sad situation that two death sentences had been executed in a short span of time. He said when the whole world was moving away from the death penalty, the Centre seemed to have given up the stand that it should be only in rarest of rare cases.

On the other hand, the BJP State president G. Kishan Reddy welcomed the execution of the death sentence but went on to add that its implementation after so many years exposed the UPA government’s vote bank politics.

Former chief of Naval staff L. Ramdas, noted film director Mahesh Bhatt and several others have also condemned the continued use of death penalty. In a statement here, they expressed their dismay that Afzal Guru’s family members were not informed about the hanging nor were they handed over his body as per colonial prison rules which should be revised immediately. The signatories to the statement included academics Achin Vanaik, Rama Melkote, Ritu Diwan, Sandeep Pandey, Ram Puniyan, Kamal Mitra Chenoy and Samata Roshni.

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