Families of Parliament attack victims along with Anti-Terrorist Front chairman MS Bitta on Monday questioned the government's move to fast track the death sentence awarded to Mumbai terror convict Ajmal Kasab when Afzal Guru has not been hanged for the past four years.
Bitta and family members of the seven security personnel, who lost their lives battling terrorists on December 13, 2001, accused the government of meting out a step-motherly treatment in dealing with cases of Kasab and Afzal. They demanded that Kasab and Afzal be hanged together.
Afzal Guru was awarded death penalty for his role in the Parliament attack.
"Why this step-motherly treatment? Afzal was sentenced to death nearly five years ago. He has not been executed till now. But, the government and the Law Minister are talking about fast tracking Kasab's death sentence. Why? Because, Kasab is a Pakistani and Afzal is an Indian and a Muslim," Bitta said.
"If Afzal is executed, political parties feel that they would loose the Muslim vote bank. No one should put their political compulsions above nation. Please don't indulge in vote bank politics," he said. "Afzal, Kasab and others awarded death penalty should be hanged together."
Bitta said he has written to Home Minister P Chidambaram asking him not to accept the demand of Afzal and Davinder Singh Bhullar, who was awarded death sentence for triggering a bomb blast to kill him, to shift them to jails in Kashmir and Amritsar respectively.
"The decision to shift dreaded terrorists like Singh to Amritsar Central Jail as per his appeal would be a blunder. Moreover, many more dreaded terrorists and smugglers are lodged in Amritsar jail. Afzal has also made a similar demand. Anything like the Kandahar episode can be repeated," he warned.
Bitta had a word of praise for Chidambaram, whom he said was sincere in rooting out terrorism from the country.
"He is a very intelligent man. If he had been the Home Minister five years back Afzal would have been hanged and terrorism would have been away from the country," he said.
Sardar Singh, who lost his son in the attack, accused the government of delaying the execution of Afzal due to vote-bank politics.
"It is just the Muslim vote-bank which is holding the government back. Why don't you hang him? You want to hang Kasab immediately, but why not Afzal?" he asked.
Sunita, who lost her husband in the attack, said her husband's soul will not rest in peace till Afzal is hanged.
"Afzal should be hanged. Only them my husband's soul will rest in peace," he said.
Bitta also demanded the constitution of an Anti-Terrorist Military Court to deal with terrorism-related cases as "politicians won't be able to do it properly due to political compulsions."