Bengaluru, Feb 9: The ghost of Afzal Guru is back to haunt us all once again. After all the drama that prevailed over his sentencing, he was finally hanged at the Tihar Jail on February 9 2013.
Whether he should be hanged or not was a debate that raged on for several years and the when he was finally hanged, it was almost an overnight decision that was taken by the then government.
While many accused the government that the decision to hang Afzal Guru was taken with the view of the upcoming elections, the fact was that it needed to be done since the Supreme Court had held him guilty and confirmed his death sentence. [Pak ignites Afzal Guru row, passes resolution against India]
Today, the issue is back again and it is the same Congress government under whose regime he was hanged is making the noise.
Five Congress legislators from Jammu and Kashmir have described the execution as a mistake. Adding to this was Shashi Tharoor who said the execution was wrong and his family should have been allowed to meet him.
A political case:
The attack on Parliament was an attack on democracy. In terms of ramifications it was much bigger than the 26/11 attack. Oneindia spoke to several officers who were part of the investigation into the Parliament attack. [Last Letter: Afzal died for truth; asked family not to mourn]
The officers say that it was hard evidence that led to the conviction of Afzal Guru and none of them had any doubt about his involvement in the attack. However after his conviction and the awarding of a death sentence, there was a hue and cry.
The government was slow to react and instead of hanging him kept him hanging in the Tihar jail. What the government feared was that his hanging could have a backlash in Kashmir. There were many in Kashmir who believed that he was being framed.
Some amount of normalcy had returned to the Valley and his hanging could have snow balled into a huge problem, the government felt. This kept the hanging at bay and the issue dragged on.
Could have been dangerous:
Keeping such a high profile criminal in jail for such a long period can be dangerous. While spending crores of rupees from the exchequer to feed and guard him is one part of the story, the other is that there is a possibility of some terrorist groups seeking his release.
India had learnt a bitter lesson in the Maulana Masood Azhar case. He was traded at Khandahar following the hijack. After he was released he showed what he was capable of and came back to hit at India's parliament.
An open and shut case:
According to former Chief of the Research and Analysis Wing, C D Sahay, the Afzal Guru case was an open and shut one since day one.
There was enough and more evidence to support the case against Guru, he adds.
Sahay recalls that the attack on Parliament was a major one and it was an example of waging a war against the state. It was a well planned action and had was aimed at targeting the centre and heart of democracy, Sahay also adds.
He also points out that the Parliament attack was a wake up call which woke the nation up. There was a lot of politics involved in all this although I fail to understand why there needed to be so many political considerations.
Stringent action is needed against people who carry out terror strikes and the ends of justice had to be met.