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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Kin: Afzal Guru was sacrificed for votes

Toufiq Rashid , Hindustantimes.com  Srinagar, February 18, 2014
First Published: 19:52 IST(18/2/2014) | Last Updated: 02:20 IST(19/2/2014)

After the Supreme Court on Tuesday commuted the death sentence of three assassins of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi to life imprisonment, citing the 11-year-old delay on part of the Centre in deciding their mercy plea, the family of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru feels the 'courts were partial'.

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Speaking to Hindustan Times, Guru's widow Tabassum said, "Afzal's killing was political. Their (Gandhi's killers') plea was pending as they did not want to commute their sentence before Guru's case."

"Guru was killed by the Congress for political gains. They sacrificed him for votes," she added. "If after so many years, their sentence could be commuted, what was the hurry in killing him?" she wondered.
According to Tabassum, Guru was 25th in the list for mercy plea.

Reacting to the Supreme Court's verdict, People's Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday said the decision had made the "people of Kashmir realise that laws were completely different for Kashmir and for the rest of the country".

"By this decision, the Supreme Court has once again made the people of Jammu and Kashmir realise that there is a separate law for Kashmir and another for the rest of the country. I think they are now sure that they have always been discriminated against, be it on any issue," said Mehbooba.

"The Supreme Court had said that 'to satisfy the collective conscience of the country', death sentence was given to Guru. Though, there were many things that were unexplained and there was not much evidence against him," she added.

"Rajiv Gandhi was no less a symbol of Indian nationhood, but his assassins are being let off. The verdict is good but I wish the Supreme Court had taken such things into consideration in other cases, like that of Guru," Mehbooba said.

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