BJP politicising Afzal Guru's mercy petition

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Patna, Aug 21 (UNI) Union Minister of state for Home Shakeel Ahmad today charged the BJP with politicising the pending decision on mercy petition of Afzal Guru, facing a death sentence for attack on Parliament.

Addressing a state level meeting of the Congress workers here, Mr Ahmad said when a person convicted with capital punishment files a mercy petition before the President, the Centre takes the decision after considering all legal aspects.

''A total number of 28 mercy petitions are presently pending and decision is taken in accordance with the chronological order and the timing of the filing of the petition'', he added.

'' The mercy petition of Afzal Guru's serial number is 27th and it could be disposed of only after decisions are taken on the first 26 such petitions,'' he said adding that the serial number of Murugan, who was awarded death sentence in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, was 5 and was not disposed of by the Vajpayee government despite being in office for six years.

Mr Ahmad said the BJP was trying to take political mileage by raising the issue of mercy petition of Afzal Guru and added that such an attempt by a national political party was detrimental to the unity and integrity of the country.

He said the allegations levelled by the BJP that the Congress-led UPA government was taking a soft stand and delaying the decision on petition of Afzal Guru, as he belonged to the minority community, was totally wrong and baseless.

He also lambasted the BJP for its attempt to communalise the withdrawal of the allotment of land from the Amarnath shrine board in Jammu. The Ghulam Nabi Azad government had announced a number of measures to augment the facilities for Amarnath pilgrims, he observed.

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