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Shinde dismisses suggestion that Afzal hanging was selective

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Shinde dismisses suggestion that Afzal hanging was selective
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New Delhi: Dismissing Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's suggestion that the execution of Afzal Guru was "selective", the Centre Monday said the cases of killers of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh were different.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Afzal's execution was not a political decision but done according to rules.

"In the cases of Rajiv Gandhi and the Chief Minister, the cases are still pending in Supreme Court. After rejection (of the mercy petitions) cases were filed in the Madras High Court and Supreme Court.

"These cases are still under consideration before the judiciary. Hence it (Afzal) is different from these cases," he told a press conference.

He was responding to questions why the Government showed tearing hurry in executing Afzal Guru while the killers of Gandhi and Singh were given options.

Omar also had said on Sunday that it will have to be proved to Kashmiris and to the world that the execution of Afzal Guru is not a ‘selective’ one. Omar had asked if attack on Parliament was an attack on symbol of democracy, Is the attack on Chief Minister and former Prime Minister not an attack on democracy?.

If the family wants to visit Guru's grave, it can be considered, Shinde said, adding that he had personally told Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on February 8 night, hours before Guru's execution.

A controversy had erupted on Sunday over the communication from the Centre to the family of Guru about the decision to hang him on Saturday with the family alleging they had come to know about his execution only from TV channels.

Though Union Home Secretary R K Singh had said that the family of Guru was sent a communication through speedpost, the family insisted that it has not received any such letter about Guru's hanging, raising questions as to whether there was a serious effort to inform the family.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah questioned the rationale of informing Guru's family through post saying the reliability of the medium itself was questionable.

"If we are going to inform someone by post that his family member is going to be hanged, there is something seriously wrong with the system," he had said.

The family of the deceased refused to talk to media on the matter, saying they were still in mourning and would not like to comment.

PTI

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