Afzal’s hanging would reinforce feeling of alienation in JK: Omar
‘Onus on New Delhi to prove this wasn't selective execution’
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, Feb 10: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday slammed Centre for hanging Afzal Guru saying, “Move will reinforce sense of alienation in the state, especially among young Kashmiris.”
Chief Minister reiterated that the state had no role in Guru’s hanging. “The onus rests on the judiciary and the political leadership of the country to show that this wasn't a selective execution," he added.
Speaking to different news channels, here today, Omar said that his government would have preferred if Guru was not executed. “One of the biggest tragedies of this execution was that the family was not able to meet him before he was hanged," he said.
"The long term implications of Afzal Guru's execution are worrying as they are linked to the people of Kashmir, especially the younger generation. Like it or not, the execution has reinforced the point that there is no justice. We will have to deal with how we can change that sort of alienation", Omar said in one of the interviews.
Omar repeatedly stressed in the past that Guru's execution could have had severe repercussions in Jammu and Kashmir. Yesterday, he appealed to his people to stay calm and warned of attempts by sections to gain political advantage out of the execution.
Today, the Chief Minister said the immediate fallout of Guru's hanging was security-related and it was far less challenging than the long term effects.
Guru, who was convicted for his role in the attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001, was hanged and buried at Delhi's Tihar Jail yesterday. His family in hometown Sopore, near Srinagar, has refuted the union government's claim that they were informed beforehand through a letter.
Omar could not confirm if a letter went to Guru's family, but said they had the right to meet him. "As a human being, I cannot reconcile to the fact that Afzal Guru was not allowed to see his family. That is one of the biggest tragedies of this execution," he said.
While he made it clear he wasn't seeking a review of the case, Omar said the view that Guru didn't get a fair trial was shared by people beyond his state. "The Supreme Court judgment in the case talks about strong circumstantial evidence and about satisfying the collective conscience of the society. You don't hang people because the society demands it. You hang people before the law demands it," he said.
The Chief Minister reiterated like yesterday that, unlike what his political rivals allege, he had no say in the execution. "My rivals want to pin the execution on me whereas my only job has been of dealing with its fallout. These decisions are not made by taking the entire Cabinet or the allies into confidence," the Chief Minister added. But the state government, he said, did anticipate Guru's hanging once Ajmal Kasab was executed in November last year. "After Kasab, I had asked security officials to begin work on a standard operating procedure that would be followed should Guru be executed," he said.
In another interview the Chief Minister said that the generations of Kashmiris would identify with Afzal Guru. Warning that Afzal's execution will breed alienation amongst Kashmiris, Omar said, "A lot of what happens in the Valley simmers under the surface. There are a few things I need to discuss with the government over the larger implications," he said.
Lashing out at the Opposition, Omar questioned BJP's silence on the death sentence of Rajiv Gandhi and Beant Singh's killers.
"Why don't we see the BJP clamouring for execution of Beant Singh's killers or Rajiv Gandhi's killers? If that (Afzal Guru's execution) was to be the last execution on people who attacked Indian democracy, I would call it a political decision," he added.
Lashing out at Centre's conduct over informing Guru's family of the execution, Omar said, "There is something wrong in the system if we are sending information through Speed Post in this era. We could have easily got the family to meet him in Delhi and kept it a secret."
"I wish we were the ones authorized to give the news to the family. I will talk to the government about the issue of bringing Afzal Guru's remains here to the Valley," he added. (With inputs from agencies)
Lastupdate on : Sun, 10 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 10 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 11 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST
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