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HindustanTimes Sat,26 Jul 2014

Afzal Guru's execution has sent strong message: Congress

PTI  New Delhi, February 09, 2013
First Published: 12:52 IST(9/2/2013) | Last Updated: 12:58 IST(9/2/2013)

Congress on Saturday said the message of "zero tolerance" against terrorism has been sent through the execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, close on the heels of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab's hanging.

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Party spokesman Rashid Alvi said "after Independence, two major acts of terror have taken place in the country -- the attack on Parliament and the Mumbai terror strikes, and those who were responsible for both have been hanged." Kasab was hanged in Pune's Yerawada jail on November 21 last year.

"We have sent the message to the world that we cannot tolerate terrorism at any cost. If anybody tries to commit (any act of terror), he will be punished. People of our country and government have zero tolerance against terrorism," Alvi said.

Hitting out at the opposition NDA, he said those who were released in Kandahar (Air India plane hijack) eventually made the conspiracy to attack Parliament.

Another party spokesman Sandeep Dikshit said "Law has taken its course. Justice has been done".

His party colleague Abhishek Singhvi said the decision to execute Afzal Guru "vindicates Congress stand that it is culmination of constitutional and legal process."

"We have never played divisive politics on this issue as BJP has done. We have not, as BJP does, tried to make executions a barometer of our patriotism or jingoism," he said.

"As to critics regarding why it (the execution) was carried out before Budget session of Parliament, such irresponsible and childish opposition deserves no response," he added.

Afzal Guru, Jaish-e-Mohammad militant convicted in the audacious attack on Parliament in 2001, was hanged in Tihar Jail at 8am on Saturday.

The mercy plea of 43-year-old Guru, who was sentenced to death in 2002 by a special court and later upheld by the Supreme Court in 2005, was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee a few days back.


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