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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Omar puts onus on Centre to clear air on selective hanging

Tarun Upadhyay, Hindustan Times  Jammu, March 04, 2013
First Published: 20:07 IST(4/3/2013) | Last Updated: 20:11 IST(4/3/2013)

Chief minister Omar Abdullah, who had earlier said hanging of Afzal Guru has the potential of alienating young Kashmiris who identify with Guru, on Monday fell short of squarely blaming the Centre for being selective on the issue, but did put the onus on it (Centre) for clearing the perception and doubts on this account by its action in future.

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However, in an aggressive approach, he tried to corner the PDP by blaming it for playing politics on blood.

“There are many people convicted under similar charges. Let's see what action the government takes. If they are also hanged then people of the state will have a sense of justice,” said Omar in reply to a discussion on adjournment motions moved by NC and PDP.

The chief minister had in an interview to a private news channel on February 10 had said the similar and on Monday too much of his statements were mostly a replay of it except the tirade against PDP.

Political parties in Kashmir, especially PDP, have said in a list of convicts awaiting hanging, Guru was number 28, then why was he hanged.

The parties also raised the issue that if the Tamil Nadu and Punjab assemblies could pass a resolution seeking clemency for the killers of former PM Rajiv Gandhi and former chief minister Beant Singh, then why the J&K government failed to do so.

In the last assembly session, independent MLA engineer Abdul Rashid did move a resolution on this line, but the house was adjourned because of the ruckus.

The chief minister said comparison shouldn't be drawn between Guru and the clemency resolution passed by TN and Punjab assemblies.

“The incident (attack on Parliament) had not happened here. So there was no question for our approval. Legally, we had no loci standi. Unlike in Maqbool Bhat, who was hanged in 1984, as he was charge-sheeted and convicted for killing of a bank manager in Kashmir, so our approval was sought,” said Abdullah.

The chief minister said he along with party president Dr Farooq Abdullah had been consistently expressing concern over the possible hanging to the Centre since 2006.

“The PDP except for a single statement by its patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed hadn't made any other statement in the past seven years,” said Omar.

Omar defended the strict restriction imposed, saying, “My government imposed restrictions.

People had to face difficulties, newspapers did not hit stalls, but we saved the bloodshed and safeguarded the lives, which was of prime concern and main objective before me after the hanging of Afzal Guru.”

The chief minister said the PDP president in her speech tried to implicate me as if I had hanged him.

“I was waiting that the leader of the single largest party in the legislative assembly (Mehbooba Mufti) during her speech on the subject would raise some pertinent points and identify the provisions of law, but she had only one objective in her mind to willy-nilly reel me in the incident of Afzal Guru's hanging as if I had ordered his death sentence, rejected his mercy and moved the lever of hangman's noose,” said Omar.

He said PDP only wanted to utilise such incidents for their vested interests otherwise they do not have any concern either for the family of Afzal Guru or the people of the state.

“You want to play dirty politics over blood and shed crocodile tears to astray people otherwise your whole record is before the public,” said Omar.


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