Padgaonkar, however added that he was personally not 'against death penalty' in principle. He said, "I do not have the slightest of doubt in my mind that Afzal Guru has committed heinous crime and he has been convicted by the highest court in the country." He stated that "the decision to carry out the punishment must be seen in the present context of Jammu and Kahsmir."
Afzal Guru's case has been pending for a while now on the Parliament Attack case in 2001. He hails from the valley and has been accused of the death of 13 persons that includes security personnel. 5 terrorists of the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba let loose a gun fire killing security personnel.
Guru was earlier sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in 2004. The execution was stayed following a mercy petition filed by his wife. The Home Ministry had only recently requested the President to reject the mercy plea.
The Delhi government had also favoured the execution of Guru. But the issue itself has also sparked intense political controversy. Prominent of those voices against awarding death to Guru is the People's Democratic Party, the main Opposition of Jammu and Kashmir. The party in its statement said, "The punishment, if carried out, would only add to and not take away from the trust deficit between Jammu & Kashmir and rest of the country which the union cabinet itself has described as one of the two major reasons for the alienation of the people of the state."
The other prominent voice was that of Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani who has reacted strongly of Afzal Guru's hanging and has warned of dire consequences in such a scenario. He added that it will unleash a storm.