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On Afzal Hanging, PM Says Law Should Take Its Own Course

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said the "law of the land" should be allowed to take its course in dealing with the issue of Parliament attack death row convict Afzal Guru.  "There is law
PTI May 24, 2010 12:34 IST
PTI
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said the "law of the land" should be allowed to take its course in dealing with the issue of Parliament attack death row convict Afzal Guru.  

"There is law of the land. They should be allowed to have their course," Singh said replying to a question over when the death sentence awarded to Guru would be carried out.  

On whether the delay will send a message that India is a soft state in dealing with terrorism, he said it is a perception which can vary among individuals.  

The Delhi government last week sent its views on Guru's mercy petition file to the Lieutenant Governor Tejendar Khanna with comments that it had no objection to the hanging but its implications on law and order needed to be kept in mind.  

The city government's move came after the 16th reminder from Union Home Ministry recently seeking its opinion on the matter.  

The Delhi government has been dilly-dallying on the matter for nearly four years and the capital punishment awarded to Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab in the Mumbai attacks case brought the issue under fresh focus.  

Guru was awarded death sentence by a Delhi court on December 18, 2002 after being convicted of conspiracy to attack Parliament on December 13, 2001, waging war against the country and murder.  

The death sentence was upheld by Delhi High Court on October 29, 2003 and his appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court two years later on August four, 2005.  

A sessions court also fixed the date of his hanging on October 20, 2006 in Tihar jail.  

Following this, Afzal filed a mercy petition with the President, who forwarded it to Union Home Ministry for its comments.  

The Union Home Ministry had sent the file to Delhi Government's Home Department for its comments, as per the procedure. PTI