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Afzal's hanging deferred

india Updated: Oct 20, 2006 00:01 IST
Reuters

The hanging of Mohammed Afzal, convicted for his role in the 2001 attack on the Parliament, has been put off until a decision on a mercy petition filed by his wife, an official said on Thursday.

Afzal was due to be hanged at 6 am on Friday.

"Since his petition is pending before the president, the hanging will not take place tomorrow," Home Ministry spokesman Onkarmal Kedia said.

Under the law, the president can pardon people sentenced to death. However, not many mercy petitions have been granted in the past.

Farooq Abdullah had even said in a TV interview that India would "go up in flames" if Afzal was hanged.

Separately, Afzal's lawyers said they would approach the Supreme Court in a final attempt to prevent the execution, arguing that his conviction was flawed.

"We will argue that he cannot be hung merely on the grounds that his execution will satisfy the collective conscience of the nation," Nandita Haksar said.

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