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Government, judiciary must explain Afzal's hanging: Omar Abdullah


New Delhi: The political leadership and judiciary should make clear that Afzal Guru's hanging was not done for political reasons, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said Sunday.

"The onus will rest on the judiciary and the political leadership to prove to the people that this was not a selective execution and not for political purposes," Omar Abdullah told TV channel CNN-IBN news channel in an interview.

Stating that the move would have long-term implications for the border state, Abdullah said the young generation would identify with Afzal Guru.

"Let's not underestimate my concern over the security or law and order implications. My concern is the long-term implications on the psyche of a generation of Kashmiris who may not identify with Maqbool Bhat (who was hanged in 1984). There are two generations that have grown up after that who certainly identify with Afzal Guru," he said.

Abdullah rued the fact that Afzal Guru's family was not given a chance to meet him before the execution.

"As a human being I find it very difficult to reconcile myself to the fact that we executed a person who was not given the opportunity to see his family for the last time. If in this day and age we are relying on speed post to inform a family that their loved one is going to be executed, there is something seriously wrong. I wish we were the ones who were authorised to inform the family," he said.

He said the BJP did not clamour for executions for those convicted for killing late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi or former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, who were blown up by extremists.

Stating that the home ministry discussed the issue broadly with him, Abdullah said he would "measure it in terms of the possible implications of executing Afzal Guru and what it could mean for Jammu and Kashmir, for its polity and for the situation on the ground".

Afzal Guru, convicted in the 2001 parliament attack, was hanged in Tihar Jail Saturday and buried quietly soon after.


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