Desperate Afzal Wants Advani To 'Hang Him'

8 June 2008

Srinagar: The first statement of Afzal Guru from Tihar prison after he was convicted in Parliament attack case that he wants a speedy conclusion to his ordeal and Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate L K Advani would act swiftly in deciding his plight while UPA government is dilly-dallying his death sentence, has sent shock waves across Kashmir with his kin saying he has been driven to desperation and separatists blaming bias against Kashmiris. In an interview to a New Delhi-based newspaper, Afzal said, “‘I only asked for pardon to stop millions of Kashmiri people hitting the streets. If I am hanged, I would take it as a sacrifice towards the people of Kashmir.” Reacting to his statement, Afzal’s cousin, Yaseen Guru told Greater Kashmir, “He has been driven to desperation. What do you expect when his family has been harassed since Afzal was arrested. He is alone and at the same time the Indian Media is trying to demonise him. He never got a fair trail. But he is still in high spirits. Whenever he writes home, he asks not to bow before injustice saying that we fighting for noble cause. His spirits are high. His lawyers one after another misled the courts.” Chairman, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Syed Ali Shah Geelani told Greater Kashmir, “The Indian system looks for revenge not justice. Afzal has been subjected to psychological torture by the jail authorities. He has been living in a small cell; his statements betray the frustration that has beset him in jail. He has been kept away from his legal rights. His family is being hounded by the police and Indian intelligence agencies.” Geelani said that pro-India leaders who have been issuing statements about Afzal are trying to hide their past. “These people were not visible for the last 20 years. But in an election year, they go and cry over the graves of Mujahaids.” Chairman of the Hurriyat Conference (M), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said, ‘Kashmiris cannot expect justice from the Indian system. The whole system is biased against the Kashmiris.” Umar said, “Thousands of Kashmiris are languishing in jails all over India all because they have committed the crime of being Kashmiris.” Chief Patron of National Conference, Dr Farooq Abdullah refused to comment on Afzal’s statement. President, National Confrence, Omar Abdullah was not available for comment. PDP General Sectarary, Nizam-ud-din Bhat, when asked about Afzal’s statement said. “I hope he has not said anything in desperation. He is under the shadow of gallows.” Bhat said, “BJP has been pleading the release of all political prisoners. If they come to power I hope that they seize the opportunity.” Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti have already spoken against Afzal’s hanging saying it will be inimical to the state’s interests. Afzal who was been convicted in the Parliament attack case by the Supreme Court is facing a death sentence pending a mercy petition. The petition is presently lying with President Pratibha Patil even though it was sent in time when her predecessor, A P J Abul Kalam, was in office. Afzal has been in solitary confinement for the last two years. He was first convicted in 2004 and since then he has been in jail. His family says that there is no solid evidence against him and that he was not given a chance to clear his stand in the court.