Media persons gather at the premises of Tihar jail where Afzal Guru, the Jaish-e-Mohammad militant convicted in attack on Parliament in 2001, was hanged, in New Delhi. PTI
The government will consider any request by the family of Afzal Guru to visit his grave inside the Tihar jail in New Delhi where he was buried after his hanging on Saturday, Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said on Monday.
"If they want to go (to the grave), it can be considered," Shinde told a press conference in New Delhi.
The family of 43-year-old Afzal has expressed a desire to offer at least "fathiah namaz" (prayer at the grave) and take his belongings.
Cornered over the government's failure to intimate the family, Shinde waved the xerox copy of the speedpost receipt saying "two speedposts within the gap of 10 minutes were sent on the evening of February seven."
However, Post Master General of Jammu and Kashmir Circle John Samuel said in Srinagar that the letter was sent from Delhi on February 8 and received in Srinagar on February nine.
According to the official website of India Post, a speed post from national capital to any part of the country other than metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai Hyderabad and Bengaluru will take four to six days.
Shinde was evasive on questions whether the government made it sure that the family was informed before carrying out the execution.
"I have information that family has been communicated. The letter has been sent through speed post on February 7 night and the action was taken on Febuary nine," he said.
A letter addressed to Tabasum (Afzal's wife) from Superintendent Jail, Tihar Jail informing about Guru's execution on February 9, 2013 was delivered on Feb 11, 2013
Further asked as to whether it was necessary to depend on speedpost when other methods including a phone call or a telegram could have been used, Shinde did not answer this question and rather maintained that rules of jail manual were followed.
Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah had said yesterday that he wished that the family could have been allowed to meet Afzal before he was taken to the gallows.