New Delhi, Jun 11 (UNI) The Congress today said the mercy petition of Afzal Guru, a death row convict in the Parliament attack case, would be decided only after disposing off 26 other such requests received much earlier.
AICC spokesman Manish Tiwari told reporters that as many as 27 mercy petitions were pending with the government -- 15 filed before and during the NDA government and 12 after UPA came to power.
Afzal's petition was the latest request for clemency and under law mercy petitions would have to be decided in the same order they were received, Mr Tiwari said.
Rejecting BJP's allegation that the UPA government was trying to appease the Muslims by delaying a decision on Afzal's mercy petition, the spokesman said it would be a slur on the 194 million people belonging to that community if they were treated as anti-nationals.
Muslims were as patriotic as any other community, he said.
However, he made it clear that Afzal had been convicted by three courts for an unpardonable act.
At the same time, India was not a banana republic and the law would have to take its own course in the case of Afzal Guru, he said.
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