The home ministry has processed Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s mercy petition and is ready to put up the file for minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s formal recommendation within the next fortnight.
The move comes as Congress leader Digvijaya Singh joined the BJP-led chorus to hang Guru, who this week completes 11 years in jail, 10 of them as a death row convict. “I am in favour of the execution of capital punishment to Afzal Guru,” PTI quoted Digvijaya as saying.
The BJP that has been campaigning for Guru’s hanging kept up the pressure on the government.
BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said the mercy petition should be rejected to “put a balm on the wounds of the people”.
President Pranab Mukherjee had returned about seven mercy petitions including Guru’s file to the home ministry to seek Shinde’s views afresh.
Chidambaram had recommended rejection of Guru’s mercy plea.Shinde — also the leader of the House in the Lok Sabha — has made it clear that he hasn’t had time to study Guru’s file due to his preoccupation with Parliament.
Guru was arrested within days of the December 13, 2001, attack and was convicted.
He and his wife filed mercy petitions to the President days ahead of being sent to the gallows in late 2006.