A day after a media report quoted former home minister P Chidambaram expressing doubts over Afzal Guru’s role in the 2001 Parliament attack, the Kashmiri separatist’s wife slammed the Congress leader saying he should have issued such statements earlier or if he was against capital punishment he should have taken steps to stop it so her husband’s execution could have been stopped.
“It was the same government that hanged my husband in the most secretive way for political mileage,” Tabasum told Hindustan Times on Friday. “I don’t believe a word that the politicians say.”
Guru’s execution leapt back into the spotlight this year when a group of students at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University organised an event to commemorate him and allegedly shouted anti-India slogans, sparking a police crackdown and a nationwide debate on nationalism.
On December 13, 2001, five armed men drove through the gates of Parliament in a car fitted with a bomb. When challenged they jumped out of the vehicle and opened fire, killing eight security personnel and a gardener, before being gunned down in a firefight.
Chidambaram had said some people had grave doubts about the degree of Guru’s involvement in the attack and that he could have been imprisoned for life without parole.
“These words hold no value now as my husband is no more,” Tabasum said.
Human rights groups had criticised the hanging saying it indicated a “disturbing” trend towards executions shrouded in secrecy.
Tabasum also praised students from JNU and other varsities for their stand in support of her husband.
“These children (students) are educated. They have read the judgment and know he was wronged,” she said. “I am glad that the politicians could not fool the younger generation. Voices against Guru’s execution in New Delhi, the capital of India, bear testimony that he was innocent.”
Tabasum, who has not joined any political group, also criticised the separatists on Guru’s third death anniversary on February 9.
“Had the separatist leadership spearheaded a strong protest on the return of the mortal remains of Muhammad Afzal Guru, New Delhi would have succumbed to the pressure and conceded to the demand,”’ she had told local newspapers.
In previous interviews, she had said that separatists did not even support the family during Guru’s trial. She had told Hindustan Times that she wanted a normal life for herself and her son, Galib, who recently passed Class 10, scoring 95% marks.