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Hang Afzal? 'Secular' concerns
The family of CRPF jawan Kamlesh Kumari, who was martyred in the attack on Parliament in 2001, has threatened to return the Ashok

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The family of CRPF jawan Kamlesh Kumari, who was martyred in the attack on Parliament in 2001, has threatened to return the Ashok Chakra awarded to Kamlesh posthumously if President A.P.J . Abdul Kalam accepts the mercy appeal of Mohammed Afzal Guru, the Parliament attack convict.

"<b>If Afzal Guru is granted amnesty by the President, we will return the Ashok Chakra awarded to our mother for her bravery. There will be no point in keeping the award if those responsible for her death are shown mercy,</b>" said Jyoti, the elder daughter of Kamlesh.

One of India's brightest minds on legal issue, Soli J. Sorabjee's (former attorney general for India) writes in IE: Before we tender clemency
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->If there is any scintilla of doubt about the convict’s guilt or if the death penalty appears too harsh — to many it does not, nor did it to the Supreme Court — then the proper course could be to commute it to full life imprisonment. Clemency must be exercised on definite principles. Justice and the Rule of Law must not be sacrificed at the altar of sheer expediency and speculative political considerations and likely fallout.
<b>A full pardon having regard to the enormity of the crime and the killing of security personnel who were patriotically performing their duty would set a pernicious precedent, outrage the sense of injustice in the minds of the victims and open a veritable Pandora’s box. Moreover the Rule of Law, which is a basic feature of our Constitution, would be the foremost casualty and will go up in flames which must be avoided at all costs. </b>
Personally, I'd like to see this man die a horrible death, but because most Indians are obssessed with human rights and stuff, here's a solution.

India is a democractic country, so for major decisions like these, perhaps, they should consider what the WHOLE nation thinks. People in the age-range 18-70 must cast their votes on this. Punishment should be based on this verdict.

If the majority favors death sentence, hang him. If they don't, don't. A method based on democratic values solves this problem. Simple. <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Who pay election bill? I break signal and caught. Want to hold national referendum to decide if I be fined? <!--emo&Rolleyes--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/rolleyes.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='rolleyes.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-aruni+Oct 7 2006, 10:14 PM-->QUOTE(aruni @ Oct 7 2006, 10:14 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Who pay election bill? I break signal and caught. Want to hold national referendum to decide if I be fined?  <!--emo&Rolleyes--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/rolleyes.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='rolleyes.gif' /><!--endemo-->

National Referendum is for serious matters only, not for trivial issues like traffic violation and stuff. Some of these issues need NR.

1) Ayodhya Temple Issue
2) Uniform Civil Code
3) Religious Subsidies
4) Need POTO or not

Money is being wasted on so many worthless matters, why not spend some and resolve these issues once and for all? That way, nobody can make trouble anymore, or use it as an election ploy. And no community will become 'vote banks.'
<b>Afzal mercy as national discourse - a national shame - </b>
By S Gurumurthy

Mohammad Afzal is now the new symbol of the seculars. Grant of pardon to him is their goal. Afzal is not just anti-national. He attempted to defy not just the law of crimes. He did not endeavour to defile the constitution just. He attempted to destroy it. He was a main conspirator in the attack on Indian Parliament in the year 2001. With Pakistan providing the attackers, he conspired to kill or take as hostage, the Prime Minister and other ministers and Parliament members.

Both Houses of Parliament were in session when Afzal and his co-criminals almost broke into it and nearly succeeded in his objective. What was the purport of this daring terror? If the Parliament were symbolic of the national pride and personality it was an attack on both. If the Parliament were symbolic of democracy, it was crime against democracy. If the seculars would regard the Parliament as a symbol of secularism Afzal attempted to wipe out that very icon of secularism. If the Parliament represented freedom and the rule of law in India he exerted to snuff both. This attack nearly brought India to war with Pakistan in the year 2002.

So his is no ordinary crime. He is a terrorist, not an ordinary criminal. He was sentenced to death by judiciary at all levels, and by the highest court finally. The judiciary did not endorse the prosecution version of the case. It had let go two other accused, Afsan Guru and S.A.R Geelani, a Delhi University academic, also charged as co-conspirators of Afzal for lack of evidence beyond doubt.

Despite the fact that while letting him off the apex court said that his conduct during the attack was 'disturbing' and had raised 'serious suspicion' about him, Geelani became a 'secular' icon and he was taken around JNU and elsewhere to pontificate on the virtues of secularism! The very judiciary at the highest level has confirmed death penalty to Afzal. And yet today, the seculars, who swear by judicial verdicts when it suits them, are clamouring for mercy to Afzal almost implying that the Apex Court did injustice to him.

See how shameless the mercy theatre is. 'The whole of Kashmir would be in flames,' warn the terrorists.'Don't execute him during the month of Ramzan,' plead others as if executing an anti-national terrorist is an affront to Islam. "It would send a wrong message to the people," says the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. "He was not given fair trial," charge the liberals. This after the Supreme Court has confirmed the due process and upheld the verdict!

Geelani, who the benevolent Court had mercifully let off, says sharing dais with the liberals that "there was no direct evidence against Afzal, only circumstantial evidence." First year law students know that police cannot prove conspiracies by video recording and yet the secular media prominently
carries Geelani's view that casts shadow on the apex court.

The secular parties and their MPs inside were shivering in toilets in the Parliament House when our soldiers were spilling their blood to save them. Now they are deafeningly silent when the pardon theatre is on. A national shame is being enacted in the national theatre and it is being televised and statements of neutrals, human rights activists and politicians are reported extensively. The photographs of the mother, wife and the child of Afzal are carried on the front pages of the media to promote sympathy for Afzal.

Afzal himself does not want mercy, says the family arrogantly. Yet, the family is petitioning for mercy. The secular chorus and the media pressure are so high that the usually composed President loses his composure, meets Afzal's family and even assures them that he would look into their case.

This is indeed unprecedented. How many such families pleading for pardon can future Presidents meet? If Presidents do not henceforth meet others, what would that mean? Would that not mean that Presidents would meet only the families of convicts who commit such high anti-national crimes?

The President must know or must have been advised that granting pardon is not a Presidential act. It is only the Cabinet, which, in effect, grants pardon and the President only signs just as he signs many other papers. A high national danger is being trivialised in the national discourse on secularism. The secular discourse is no more centred round concepts. It is becoming centred round criminals and terrorists.

When the Constitution came into being secularism meant state-neutrality towards religion, that is, the state should not discriminate between faiths. Then it degenerated to granting privileges and bounties to the minority. Later it was perverted to defending and protecting criminals and terrorists. Like the entire Kerala political spectrum unanimously commended parole for Abdul Madani who bombed and killed over 70 persons in Coimbatore. Like an acclaimed secular commentator in the visual media, wrote in print media, how a patriot _ yes patriot _ like Dawood Ibrahim, who bombed Mumbai and killed hundreds, was being persecuted in India! Now Dawood is declared as a global terrorist and the columnist is still among the most rated secular voices!!

<b>Today secular discourse has shamed itself and shamed the country by coming in defence of a terrorist who bombed the very symbol of their ideal of secularism, the Parliament. It is national shame is that the issue of mercy to Afzal should have arisen first much less as part of the national discourse.</b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Ghanshyam's daughter watched him die on TV </b>
Neeraj Chauhan | New Delhi
He wanted his five sons to join the Delhi Police or the Army and serve the nation. Two have made his dreams come true. In his 34 years of service from the tough Ladakh posting to security of parliamentarians, <b>Head Constable Ghanshyam Patel (51) was awarded six medals. He didn't live to see the sixth medal, the Kirti Chakra. </b>

When the terrorists attacked on December 13, 2001 at 11.15am, Ghanshyam was standing next to Vice-President Krishna Kant's car. As they fired, they asked everybody to lie down. Ghanshyam didn't and was shot twice, once in his chest and once in his stomach.   

<b>As he lay dying, his only daughter, Beervati saw her father dying on television. </b>
Ghanshyam had joined Delhi Police in 1985 after taking voluntary retirement from the Corps of Military Police (CMP). He served the CMP for 18 years and spent most of his time in Ladakh. He was awarded the Sangram medal, Paschimi Star, Sainya Sewa medal, 25th Independence anniversary medal and long service medal. When he joined the Delhi Police, he had served in most all its units.

Ghanshyam used to stay in the Sri Niwaspuri barrack and visit his village in Hari Pura in Koshi district, Uttar Pradesh once a week. His son, Bacchu Singh recalls his father as being a very calm and patient person. "Duty came first for him and he did not even visit our school or college as he did not have much time."

Ghanshyam is survived by his wife, Somumati Devi, his sons, Man Singh (38), Bacchu Singh (35), Bijender Singh (28), Sunder Singh (25), Mahender Singh (20) and daughter Beervati (30). All of them are married and stay in the new house. Man Singh has been in Delhi Police for a long time while Bijender was provided a job on compassionate grounds after his father's death.

<b>The family was paid compensation money of Rs 14 lakh and allotted a petrol pump on the Koshi Nandgaon Road</b>. Ghanshyam used to say that when he retired he would rest and spend time with his grandchildren. He was well respected and liked in his village.

His widow, Somumati said he was a simple man and, "accepted everything he was given and never complained of anything or gave preference to anything."

Bacchu Singh was angry over the controversy being raked up over Afzal's death sentence. He said, "the terrorists are directly attacking our nation and politicians are only looking at their profit. Ask them to once come out of their air-conditioned rooms and fight with terrorists, then they would know the reality. Whom are they trying to save? Is he Bhagat Singh?"
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>No grounds for mercy in Afzal's case, BJP to Prez </b>
PTI | New Delhi
Citing the hanging of a man convicted of conspiracy in the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the BJP on Sunday met President APJ Abdul Kalam and told him that there was no ground for clemency for Mohammad Afzal sentenced to death in the 2001 Parliament attack case.

"The contention that this convict did not pull the trigger himself and cannot be visited with the extreme penalty does not hold ground. In the assassination of Mrs Indira Gandhi, Kehar Singh (who was charged with conspiracy to murder the then Prime Minister), had not pulled the trigger himself and yet the extreme penalty visited him," the BJP said in its memorandum to the President. 

"There are no grounds for clemency which have been made out. The convict has shown no signs of remorse as he has not even submitted the clemency petition himself. Probably, he feels he should not submit to the Constitution of India," senior BJP leader LK Advani told reporters after the meeting.

He said BJP suspected that politics of vote could be preventing the Government from making any comment on the Afzal case.

Advani said that the BJP feels that the Congress-led Government could be avoiding taking a position on Afzal because of the upcoming elections in several States.

<b>"Surprisingly, there is no word from the Government on this case," Advani remarked adding BJP believed that UPA's "silence" on Afzal was seemingly "dividing" the country.</b>

<b>Advani, accompanied by BJP president Rajnath Singh, leaders Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi,</b> said the Government should make its stand clear on the sentencing.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Treason's counsels

It is incredible that the capital punishment given to Mohammad Afzal for his unpardonable crime in waging a war against our nation state should be a matter of debate. The cynical fringe elements in the society are attempting to orchestrate a campaign to pressurise the government and through it the President of India to pardon Afzal and commute his death sentence.

The people who seek pardon for Afzal in the name of political wisdom are turning their back on the sacrifices of the families of those who lost their lives in the defence of the country, not only in Parliament but in Kashmir, Punjab and the north-east. The people of India have expressed their verdict on Afzal punishment in any number of opinion polls conducted by TV channels and newspapers. Invariably, an overwhelming 90 percent and above have supported the capital punishment handed out to Afzal.

The Congress party and the communists are falling to greater depths in their desperate attempt to please and placate the marginal fanatic and separatist section in the minority community. The Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Gulam Nabi Azad actually had the gall to seek pardon on behalf of Afzal. The Congress leaders like Mangat Ram Sharma and Digvijay Singh were quick to distance themselves from such absurdities.

To see Afzal as a Muslim or as a Kashmiri is a shame. For, those who strike to weaken the nation have but one name—traitors. They have no regional, religious or communal identity. Afzal or those pleading for him have not said that he did not commit the crime. Nor does he seem to regret it. If the responsibility of his family and community could not prevent him from taking this course, there is no cause for them to plead for him.

Maninder Singh Bitta, the relentless campaigner against terrorists, deserves praise for taking a delegation of the family members of the victims of the Parliament attack to the President of India to press for the maintenance of the death sentence of Afzal. The media, especially some of the TV channels have been trying to whip up a frenzy of hope for Afzal. When the mercy petition by Afzal’s wife reached the President of India, some channels announced that the President had “accepted” the petition and that the hanging was on hold now.

Hanging Afzal is not a message to the terrorists. It is only carrying justice to its logical conclusion. That his accomplices escaped unscathed because of lack of evidence does not diminish his crime. If he was prepared to face death when he planned the attack on Parliament, his family and people who speak on his behalf and in the name of fair trial are only trying to further the enemy's strategy of confusing our fight against treason and terror. It is the will of the nation that has to express itself and prevail.


Let the Political parties save him from the noose. The poor taxpayer will sponsor him no sooner to pilgrimage. Astonishing!!!!!
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Widows to meet President today </b>
Staff Reporter | New Delhi
...to plead against clemency for Afzal

The widows of security personnel who died during the 2001 Parliament attack will meet President APJ Abdul Kalam on Tuesday to plead against clemency for Mohammad Afzal who faces execution in connection with the case. All India Anti-Terrorist Front chief MS Bitta informed that they would meet Kalam at 2.45 pm at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Last week, they submitted a memorandum with the Rashtrapati Bhavan, opposing clemency for Afzal. They have now been granted an appointment with the President for Tuesday and will present their viewpoint on the execution order against Afzal.

The delegation of all the ten families, which will call on Kalam, will also include children of the slain security personnel. The families would present a memorandum to the President demanding the execution of death sentence of Mohammad Afzal, which is now being considered by the law and home ministry.

Last time, the family members of Delhi Police personnel had gone to present a memorandum to the President's office on Tuesday.

"We are not going to the President for getting justice for our dear ones, because they have already died. But we love our country and need to secure the future of our kids," said Sardar Singh, father of slain HC Om Prakash.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->President's power of pardon subject to judicial review: Supreme Court

By J. Venkatesan

New Delhi: In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court on Wednesday held that the exercise of power of pardon by the President or the Governor of a State to a convict cannot be done for political, religious or other extraneous considerations.

A Bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice S H Kapadia, held that the exercise of the power of remission, mercy or reprieve by the President or the Governor would be subject to judicial review.

The Bench set aside an order passed by the Governor of Andhra Pradesh granting remission of sentence to a Congress leader, Gowra Venkata Reddy, who was sentenced to undergo 10 years imprisonment in a murder case involving Telugu Desam party workers.

The Bench passed these orders on a petition filed by Epuru Sudhakar challenging the Governor’s order remitting the sentence to the period already undergone by Venkata Reddy.

The apex court in November 2005 while admitting the petition had stayed his release from the prison. The Bench held that the order passed by the Governor for political and extraneous considerations was unsustainable.

The Bench, however, said that it would be open to the Governor to reconsider the matter afresh after a proper inquiry based on the materials placed before him by the State Government.

This decision of the apex court assumes importance in the context of representations being made to President A P J Abdul Kalam for granting clemency to Mohammad Afzal, sentenced to death in the Parliament attack case.

The Court said though it would not be possible to lay down straitjacket principles in dealing with the issue of reprieve, clemency or remission, the President or the Governor would have to take into consideration the exercise of the power on the victim’s family, its impact on the society and its future impact.

The Bench was of the view that vindication of the rule of law would be of paramount consideration in all such cases and the President or the Governor exercising the power of pardon had to take this into account while dealing such cases. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Kalam urged to give verdict on Afzal by Dec 13 </b>
Staff Reporter | New Delhi
On the day of Karva Chauth, when the women fast and pray for the long life of their husbands, the widows of Parliament attack case martyrs on Tuesday met the President, APJ Abdul Kalam, seeking justice. The family members urged the President to give a verdict by December 13 this year, a day when the Parliament was attacked five years ago.

In the 20-minute meeting, family members requested the President not leave the issue with law and home ministries. "There are many petitions hanging in balance with the ministries and we requested him that it should not be another one," said MS Bitta, chairman of All India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF), who was accompanying the delegation. The President took the problems of the family members of the security personnel's individually.[<b>COLOR=red] "We told him everything that how we are being asked for bribe for getting compensation money and petrol pump licenses. He expressed shock over the same and said that he will consider their memorandum and request," [/COLOR]said Ganga Devi, wife of ASI Nanak Chand of Delhi Police.</b>

The memorandum said that some of the political section of the country is trying to save Afzal for their personal motive and political mileage. Some of the families have not till now received licenses of petrol pumps and they are concerned that how would they survive? The families say that they have hopes from the President and their matter would be heard. "If the Government does not listen to us then it would be injustice to all those who are fighting for the nation. Our dear ones saved life of around 500 politicians, who are now playing games on their deaths," said Jaiwati Devi, wife of Head Constable Bijender Singh.

<b>Few of the family members told The Pioneer that if Afzal is not given death sentence and the matter is taken up for consideration after December 13, then they will take some action which the Government would not like.  </b>
<b>Clemency not to be on political, religious considerations: SC</b> <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Considerations of caste, religion and political loyalty are irrelevant and fraught with discrimination. These are prohibited grounds (for grant of clemency)," a Bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice S H Kapadia said. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--emo&:argue--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/argue.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='argue.gif' /><!--endemo--> Ex-CJIs differ on application of yardstick
R VENKATARAMANPosted online: Thursday, October 12, 2006 at 0000 hrs Print Email
NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 11: Today’s Supreme Court ruling which underlines that the pardon power of a Governor and the President are subject to “judicial review” finds agreement amongst several former Chief Justices of India (CJIs) but they differ on the application of the “judicial review yardstick”.

Reacting to the ruling, former CJI J S Verma said that “every action of the executive is subject to judicial review but such review should be exercised with great circumspection”.

Justice Verma cited his own judgment in the S R Bommai case in which he had held that “even if there is an element of subjectivity (in an executive decision and action), judicial hands should be off”.

He said the judgment, quashing the pardon granted to a convicted Congressman in Andhra Pradesh on the ground that it was subject to “judicial review”, was not new. “In the Indira Gandhi assassination case, this point was debated and it was settled that the pardon power of a Governor or that of the President is justiciable”.

The Supreme Court ruling comes at a time when Mohammad Afzal, whose hanging has been ordered in the Parliament attack case, awaits Presidential pardon. “It is the rarest of rare cases,” says former CJI K N Singh, because “an attack on Parliament is an attack on the country’s sovereignty” and could not be pardoned.

On judicial review, Justice Singh is in agreement with other former CJIs as “an action of the executive is subject to it” but “there has to be some requisite material to grant pardon”.

Justice A M Ahmadi, another former CJI, pointed out that the position of law is “well settled in earlier cases” but “in a particular case, like for example Afzal, the circumstances should be gone into and every case has its individual merits and de-merits”.

Justice Singh said that “pardoning a convict after all the courts have adjudicated him to be hanged, should be on some consideration, reasonable, not whims or likes or dislikes. In general, courts do not interfere with pardoning but if it is found there was no ground at all, courts do have to intervene”.

According to Justice Singh, even if “Afzal is granted pardon, any citizen or family members of the victims of his attack could move the Supreme Court challenging the pardon.” Justice Singh said “If pardon is granted because the convict belongs to a particular community or he is white or black... that cannot be the consideration”.

“Pardon is a very difficult stage of exercise of powers (by the executive), very cautious tightrope walking,” he said. Justice Verma, on the other hand, said that “judicial review is only limited”. Former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Justice Rajinder Sachar said that he was “personally an abolitionist (a votary of abolition of death sentences) but in the existing framework of law, Afzal’s case is one of the rarest of rare cases”.

<!--emo&:ind--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/india.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='india.gif' /><!--endemo--> Afzal's case: NRIs feel justice should prevail
[ 12 Oct, 2006 1359hrs ISTPTI ]

RSS Feeds| SMS NEWS to 8888 for latest updates

HOUSTON: In the midst of the controversy over death sentence to Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal, concerned non-resident Indians are closely monitoring developments on his mercy plea.

A sizeable number of Indian Americans feel that justice and the rule of law must not be sacrificed at the altar of sheer expediency and speculative political considerations and likely fallout.

Dr Subodh Atal, foreign policy analyst based near Washington DC, said that Afzal clemency issue is not so surprising given India's consistent history in recent years as a soft state.

"Giving clemency to a terrorist, who has been found guilty of involvement in the attack on one of the greatest symbols of Indian democracy, undermines the nation's foundation as a strong republic with global aspirations.

"Such an action would be in line with previous episodes, particularly the spectacle of the cave-in to (1999 Kandahar) hijacking, with (then) External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh escorting dangerous international terrorists to Kandahar", Atal said.

Sreeram Chaulia, a human rights activist, based in New York, is opposed to death penalty in principle as he does not believe in state-sanctioned murder.

"However, the political reasons being bandied about for his clemency seem dubious to me. If we were to take the principle of 'equality before law' into account, there is no reason why Afzal should be treated separately from other prisoners on death row," he said.

<!--emo&:grenade--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/grenade.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='grenade.gif' /><!--endemo--> <b>Meerut hangman Mamu gets the call for Afzal</b>
Siddharth Kalhans / M V R RAO Thursday, October 12, 2006 at 0000 hrs <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->LUCKNOW, MEERUT, OCTOBER 11: While a mercy petition for Afzal Guru, the man convicted to hang for the December 13, 2001 attack on Parliament, is pending with the President, <b>the Uttar Pradesh Directorate of Prisons has set in motion the official process to nominate Mamu, a hangman from Meerut, for the job</b>.

Mamu is the son of hangman Kallu who hanged Indira Gandhi’s assassins Kehar Singh and Satwant Singh and Ranga and Billa, convicted for the killing of the Chopra children.

Confirming this, State Senior Superintendent of Prisons Suresh Chandra said that Mamu has been asked to be prepared to reach Tihar Jail any time now.

“Mamu has been appointed the jallad to hang Afzal in Tihar,” Chandra told The Indian Express today, “and the official communication has been despatched to him.”

Asked when the communique was sent to Meerut, Chandra said, “It has been sent this week, we cannot disclose the exact date.”

When told that Mamu claims he hasn’t received any note, Chandra said: “He is not authorised to disclose these details.”

Chandra said the the prison department of the state government will be ready to send Mamu to Tihar for the hanging by October 20. “He will be assisted by a hangman from Punjab,” he said.

When contacted, Kunwar Verma, in charge of the Jallad Cell at the Directorate of Prisons, confirmed that “we sought Mamu’s availability for he has not hanged anyone for some time.” He said Mamu is the “first preference” for Tihar.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Hanging Afzal will teach terrorists a lesson, says Deshraj's mother </b>
Neeraj Chauhan | New Delhi
While the Government has been aiming to pardon death sentence of the main accused in Parliament Attack case Mohhammed Afzal, a martyr's children understands that their father, Deshraj, a CPWD gardener, is still alive. The family members have narrated a different story and informed the teenagers that their father works outside the city. But now they are matured, and are forcing family members and relatives to facilitate meeting with their father.

Deshraj (38), a Central Public Works Department (CPWD) gardener, was not in the security but he was working on the green patch of the Parliament garden near Gate no 11 on that day and had shouted with Kamlesh Kumari, Aatankwaadi aa gaaye, darwaaza band karo (terrorists have come, close the gate).   

He was eldest among 10 siblings born to his parents, Phool Singh and Harbati Devi. On Afzal's death sentence, his mother Harbati said, "If the innocent person cannot get justice then why people are urging the President for showing mercy to an accused. Hanging Afzal would teach a lesson to other terrorists and they would not hurt the feelings of those families."

Deshraj's wife Munesh has strongly pleaded against the mercy petition of Mohammad Afzal and demanded that he should be hanged soon. She works in CPWD on Deshraj's place and leaves her Teela village residence at Ghaziabad early in the morning at 6 am, leaving the kids alone at home.

After hearing first gun shot, he shouted and ran towards the gate to help Kamlesh but was shot from back on his head. He received three bullet injuries, one at his shoulder and one on his neck. He died on the spot.

Deshraj had joined CPWD in 1978 as a gardener. His family resides in Teela Sehwajpur village in Ghaziabad on the outskirts of Delhi.

He has three children, Virender (18) who studies in 12th standard, Nitin (12) and daughter, Seema (16). "My son was a very humble and honest person. I would pray to god that everybody should have son like him. He never got angry and finished all his work and home responsibility efficiently," said Harbati Devi with tears in her eyes.

On that fateful day, he left home at 7am with his younger brother Shobender on his scooter. His another brother, Devender, was watching television at that time but he never thought that his brother would be among those who died in the incident. He himself came to know when there was a crowd at his house in the village. The family brought the body from the hospital at 4 pm. The family received Rs 10 lakhs as compensation from Central Government but not the Delhi Government compensation, Rs 14 lakhs. They have been moving from one office to another from last five years to get petrol pump activated. The family owns a tea stall on the main road at the village and that is the only survival mode.

The family also said that we have not been treated like families of martyrs. "We struggle everyday to survive. This is what we are getting in response of saving the democracy," said Devender.
Online drive to support death penalty to terrorist Mohd. Afzal

21,000+ Signatures

This is a recurring theme.

1. Hanging a terrorist will upset muslims. WTF is wrong with people ?
2. Hanging a terrorist wont stop terrorism. Ditto. Why dont we just throw away the constitution ? Why have any penalties ? Why even jail him ? After all jailing terrorists hasnt stopped terrorism either ? If it werent stupid it would be totally sick.


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Medha Patkar appeals to President to revise Afzal�s death sentence

New Delhi, Oct 12: As the debate rages over the death penalty of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru, Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar, Magsaysay award winner Dr Sandeep Pandey and other noted human rights activists have raised their voice against capital punishment.

The activists, under the banner of National Alliance of People's Movement, have appealed to President A P J Abdul Kalam to revise Afzal's death statement, as the "inhuman and terminal punishment cannot be the solution to any violence or even terrorism".

In a press release they said: "We, the people struggling for non-violence, peace and justice in India and across the world, appeal to the Hon'ble President of India to reprieve the death penalty of Afzal Guru."

The statement released by them said that when the peacekeepers all over the world are crying halt to the capital punishment, India the birth and work place of Gandhi going against this will send a wrong massage against our value framework.

The activists, who claimed that the capital punishment goes against the fundamental right to life granted by the Indian Constitution and Article 6 of UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,<b> expressed fear that the incident might further widen the divide amongst religious communities.</b>

Citing the ongoing series of protest against Afzal's death penalty across the Kashmir valley, they apprehended that the execution might result in eruption of fresh violence in the state.

"<b>Though the ghastly act of the armed attack at the Parliament, at the railway compartment or elsewhere is highly condemnable, no one would say that killing a man would stop this from re-occurring</b>," they said.

"It is in the name of peace and justice as also communal harmony and humanity that we earnestly appeal to the Hon'ble President of India to take a firm position against hanging Afzal Guru and death penalty perse," they added.


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