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Centre to give details on Afzal's release before Par attack

The Centre on Friday said it would reveal details soon on how the erstwhile NDA had released the Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru few months before the terror strike.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 08, 2008 05:49 PM IST

In a move aimed at turning the tables on the BJP, the Centre on Friday said it would reveal details soon on how the erstwhile NDA government had released the Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru few months before the terror strike.

Hitting back at former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani for criticising the UPA government for the "delay" in hanging Afzal, Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal said it was wrong to accuse the UPA government in this regard.

"Mercy petitions are complicated. It takes time to dispose of mercy petitions. In the case of Rajiv Gandhi's assassins, the mercy petitions are pending for eight years, where as Afzal's petition is only two years old," he said.

Replying to questions at a press conference, Jaiswal said he would provide "within 24 hours" the details of Afzal's arrest and release under the NDA rule two months before the terrorist attack on Parliament.

Asked whether it was the then Home Minister (Advani) or the then Prime Minister (AB Vajpayee) who had ordered the release of Afzal, he said "orders of arrest or release are not issued by the Prime Minister or the Home Minister".

Advani recently sought to know from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh whether Afzal has been given "unofficial clemency".

In a counter offensive, Congress has sought to take the steam out of BJP's campaign on the Afzal issue, claiming that he was caught, interrogated and let off by the Intelligence Bureau two-and-a-half months before the incident took place.

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