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Martyrs? relatives return medals

FAMILIES OF security personnel killed in the terror attack on Parliament five years ago on Wednesday returned the medals the martyrs had been given posthumously.

india Updated: Dec 14, 2006 13:58 IST

FAMILIES OF security personnel killed in the terror attack on Parliament five years ago on Wednesday returned the medals the martyrs had been given posthumously.

They said they would not take the medals back until Mohammad Afzal, who was convicted for his role in the attack, and whose death sentence has been confirmed by the Supreme Court, is hanged. Afzal has filed a mercy petition before the president.

Afzal has also filed a curative petition in the Supreme Court — his last legal option — on the ground that he did not get a fair trial. He has urged the court to stay the death sentence on him till his petition is heard and decided upon.

In his petition Afzal said the fundamental right to life under Article 21 included the right to a fair trial, which he was denied, because he did not get proper legal representation.

But the families of the eight security personnel killed in the attack are convinced Afzal deserves death. “If Afzal is not executed, the sacrifice of those who defended Parliament will be wasted,” Brahm Prakash, brother-in-law of head constable Bijender Singh, who was awarded the Kirti Chakra, said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said: “It is very unfortunate that a wrong impression has been created, as if the government is shielding those sentenced to death. Every person has the right to seek clemency. The government should talk to the families.”