Hyderabad terror attack
Hyderabad terror attack
After the Supreme Court judgment confirming death penalty on Afzal Guru and the rejection of his mercy petition, the legal and logical course was to execute the death sentence. However the manner of execution, by hanging Afzal Guru without informing his family members and particularly before he could exercise his right of judicial review against the rejection of his mercy petition, was in violation of the basic norms of human dignity and of his constitutional rights. It is a misconception that after rejection of his mercy petition, a convict is without any remedy. Our Supreme Court has ruled that judicial review is available, albeit on limited grounds such as incorporation of "considerations which are wholly irrelevant, irrational, discriminatory or mala fide. Only in these rare cases will the court examine the exercise". Hanging him in haste after rejection of his mercy petition and before he could approach the Supreme Court by way of judicial review was grossly unfair. If years were taken to dispose of his mercy petition, surely a short period of say two weeks in implementing the death penalty would not have caused grave national injury. Request for return of his body should not have been refused by a literal and insensitive interpretation of the jail manual, unless there were compelling security reasons.
It is such actions which alienate the people of Kashmir and especially the youth and invest the halo of a martyr on Afzal Guru and also afford spurious justification for terrorist acts. Persons inimical to India and Lashkar patron Hafiz Saeed, whose veins are bulging with hatred towards our country, had openly proclaimed their intention to avenge the hanging of Afzal Guru and to take effective revengeful, retaliatory action. The attack on Hyderabad, in which many innocent civilians were killed and injured, has followed. Saeed considers taking back Hyderabad along with Junagadh and Kashmir from India as the unfinished agenda of Partition of the country in 1947. It is incomprehensible why Pakistani authorities do not arrest him for inciting hatred and feelings of enmity against India under the Pakistan Penal Code, which has a provision corresponding to Section 153-A of the Indian Penal Code. There is no question of proof beyond reasonable doubt because Saeed's statements are indisputable. Apparently Pakistani authorities are not willing to do so lest it appear as a move to conciliate India. Besides, it would be unpopular to arrest the heroic Hafiz Saeed.
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