Let Advani hang me, says Afzal Guru

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{image-afzal guru_08062008.jpg www.oneindia.com}New Delhi, June 8: Parliament terror attack convict Mohammed Afzal Guru  wants a speedy conclusion to his ordeal and says Bharatiya Janata Partys Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani would act swiftly in deciding his plight one way or the other while the present government is stalling his death sentence.

"I don't think the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government can ever reach a decision. The Congress party has two mouths and is playing a double game," said Afzal, convicted for the December 2001 Indian Parliament attack, in an interview to a news agency in Tihar prisons Jail No 3. "I really wish L K Advani becomes Indias next Prime Minister as he is the only one who can take a decision and hang me. At least my pain and daily suffering would ease then," said Afzal, who has been in solitary confinement in the capitals high security Tihar Jail. Incidentally, Advani has criticised the delay in carrying out the death sentence.

"I fail to understand the delay. They have increased my security. But what needs to be done immediately is to carry out the courts orders," Advani had remarked in November 2006.

In his first interview since he was convicted by the Supreme Court in 2004 that was subsequently upheld a year later, he says the death sentence had made him delusional. He, too, has filed a mercy petition - along with 40 others - that is pending before the President.

Cumbersome legal procedures and prolonged periods of solitary confinement, he said, were inhuman and cruel.

Psychologists call this condition the death row phenomenon, in which prisoners spending years awaiting their execution go through excruciating mental torture, a fact that was recognized by the European Court of Human Rights in 1989.

"Life has become hell in the jail. I requested the government to take an immediate decision over my sentence just two months ago. I dont wish to be part of the living dead," said Afzal, whose mood swung frequently between being stoic and being defiant.

"I have also requested that till the time they (government) take a decision, they shift me to a Kashmir jail," said Afzal, who now sports a long beard.


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