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BJP flays Arundhati Roy for 'defending' Afzal

The BJP lashes out at Booker prize winner Arundhati for referring Afzal as a prisoner-of-war, reports HS Bartwal.

india Updated: Oct 28, 2006 19:30 IST
HS Bartwal

The BJP on Saturday lashed out at author and rights activist Arundhati Roy for demanding clemency for Mohammad Afzal, convicted by the Supreme Court for complicity in the December 2001 terrorist attack on Parliament.

"Those who are supporting Afzal by demanding that he should not be hanged are not only acting against pubic sentiment in the country but are giving a fillip to terrorist morale," said BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar.

Deploring that Roy and some others could go to the extent of describing Afzal as a prisoner-of-war being tried in the courts of "an occupying country", he stated that the suggestion was "preposterous and anti-national".

"No country has witnessed such a defence of a terrorist. They have gone beyond the academic discussion on whether to have capital punishment or not," the BJP leader said further.

He reiterated the party's demand for speedy disposal of Afzal's clemency petition and his hanging.

Filmmaker Anant Patwardhan and freedom fighter Bhagat Singh's nephew Jagmohan Singh too had earlier raised the demand for commuting Afzal's death sentence.

First Published: Oct 28, 2006 19:06 IST