The current agitations and farcical trials in India are reminiscent of Saudi Arabian decapitation trials and Iranian trials against female volley ball watchers. Kashmiris continue to seethe with anger and distrust when they remember the execution of a possibly innocent man by the erstwhile Congress Government to score an electoral point in the rest of India (which failed miserably).
I reproduce below the opinions of some of the prominent intellectuals, Hindu Sanyasis of the Country, expressed before and after the hanging of Mohammed Afzal Guru.
The hanging of Afzal Guru is a stain on India’s democracy
Arundhati Roy (Guardian)
Sunday 10 February 2013
The UPA government’s decision to hang Afzal Guru in the run-up to the 2014 parliamentary elections was bent on proving its patriotic credentials against a resurgent BJP and Modi juggernaut. It didn’t help them then, and now they stand accused by the BJP for being on Afzal Guru’s side after the JNU row with leaders like Rahul Gandhi making statements about free speech that are seen as condoning the chants that were shouted by students in support of Afzal Guru.
Nazir Masoodi, Freelance correspondent , NDTV
“Supreme Court’s Decision To Hang Afzal Guru Was Wrong”
-Justice Ashok Kumar Ganguli, former Chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission and a former Judge of the Supreme Court of India who delivered judgement in some high-profile cases like the 2G spectrum scam.
At The Telegraph National Debate
All the recent hangings showcase a discernible pattern, one of bloodthirsty, frenzied, mobs seeking revenge and the Indian Judiciary delivering it to them. Did the Supreme Court not hang Afzal Guru for “satisfying the collective conscience of the nation”, with nothing more than circumstantial evidences to seal his fate? But then, it did not find Dara Singh’s ghastly act of burning Christian priest Graham Staines and his two sons alive in Orissa in 1999 rarest of rare and gave him a lifer. No one deserves to get killed by the state, not even Dara Singh but that is not the point. The real point is how the increasing sectarianism of the society has started getting reflected in judiciary.
Avinash Pandey, Programme Coordinator, Right to Food Programme, AHRC. ( firstname.lastname@example.org) AHRC= Asia Huan Rights Commission)
Afzal Guru, Yakub Memon hangings send signals of weak Government:
“The hanging of Afzal Guru and Yakub Memon were politically motivated.”
– Justice Ajit Prakash Shah
, Former chief Justice of Delhi High Court and Chairman of the 20th Law Commission of India.
Afzal Guru’s life ended not for his crimes – and I am not contesting his role in those – but to alleviate the daily tamasha of Indian politics.
Shivam Vij, Independent Journalist on NDTV
“The travesty of justice will lie in his losing his young and promising life, not because he was directly involved in taking life, but because he happens to be the brother of the main culprit, “Tiger” Memon, who is still hiding out, well away from the grasp of our investigating authorities. It is also where young Yakub Memon could have remained, had he not chosen to accept in good faith the bargain he was offered (and probably demanded) – that he retain his thin thread on life in exchange for telling all to the police and the prosecutors.
-Mani Shankar Aiyar
“It’s a hard situation to be in, folks. If the same government that gives subsidies and reservation to Muslims for their votes also kills a Muslim just to get Hindu votes what the government is trying to do is: increase the animosity between communities and stay in power. And worse than that, imagine being in such a situation. The entire country hates you but you have done nothing. You would not want even your worst enemy to be in that situation.”
-A “Conservative Hindu” on the hanging of Afzal Guru
“the fact is whether we like it or not he was hanged for political reasons. It’s a fact.”
“I had said I will not pass judgement on it until I see how Government handles other cases… I have seen other cases. Look how they handled assassins of Beant Singh and Rajiv Gandhi and look how they jumped this guy up the queue. Clearly what other conclusion can you arrive at other than this that they wanted to deny BJP another handle to beat them with in the general elections and, therefore, the easiest two people to be hanged were Ajmal Kasab because he was a foreign national and Afzal Guru. Whether I like it or not but they did it,”
Omar Abdudullah, Chief Minister of Kashmir
“It is possible to hold an honest opinion that the Afzal Guru case was not decided correctly and that Guru probably did not deserve to be hanged. “
P. Chidambaram, Finance Minister of India when a decision was taken to hang Afzal Guru.
As far as Afzal Guru is concerned, I feel that his sentence should be commuted.”
Kuldeep Nayyar, renowned Senior Journalist
” Afzal was not a member of any terrorist organization…….
“The incident, which resulted in heavy casualties, had shaken the entire nation and the collective conscience of the society will only be satisfied if the capital punishment is awarded to the offender….The conspirator (Yakub Memon), even though he may not have indulged in the actual criminal operations to execute the conspiracy, becomes liable for the punishment prescribed under Section 302 IPC (Indian Penal Code).”
Supreme Court of India (which dismissed his appeal and allowed the hanging)
As I got to know him I saw in him a good human being. After his hanging I saw it as a personal loss…What I observed in him was a lack of hatred. He did not hate Indians, he did not hate me. There was no feeling of victimhood(In his letter to Nandita Haskar he wroteJ…I love and care for my abjec and helpless people. My love is not at the cost of the Indian people. I don’t believe in nationalism as political and social philosopy..You’re very much a patriot than anyone like Modi.His nationalism is devastating, but your nationalism is logical. So I felt here’s a man who’s very very wronged by my Country. “ Nandita Haskar, Defence Lawyer.
When I went to his jail (after the hanging), the one of the jai authorities said : “Abdul was a learned man. He did not blindly follow. He would question everything.He wanted to be a doctor. He was not a man who picked up the gun. He was a deeply caring man, He wanted to comfort, care for people who are ill, diseased..
Then there was an uprising. The government says they were unemployed youth. They were not . There were doctors, engineers among them. So he went to Pakistan. There he was disillusioned. He found Pakistan was no different So he came back. He surrendered. He surrendered but the intelligence agency wanted him to be an informer. He was not ready to be an informer. He was not ready to be a traitor to his people. He was very brutally tortured, brutally tortured in unspeakable ways…his newly wedded wife sold all her jewellery (spent) all her money and got him released. He was in ahospital for more than a month. So this man was much more wronged against than the wrong that he did.
Nandita Haskar, Afzal’s Lawyer
Why was he convicted? Because he was so truthful. Yes, he agreed, he had admitted certain things. That shows the nature of the person.
-Advocate ND Pancholi (Ditto)
I have faced all of them all intelligence agencies, intelligence people, investigators. When you were facing them, it was like you were facing some hard-core Hindutva group. They can keep on fabricating, go on fabricating, implicating the youth.
Prof. Geelani (co-accused, who was acquitted.)
(Frequent telephone calls to Geelani was among the major the evidences against Afzal
Why only IB? Today we find that every police organization in this Country has a very large number of communal elements in it. Unfortunately the evidence is accumulating which shows that almost every police rganizations including, and particularly organizations like IB have been infiltrated and infested with a very large number of communal people.” And that’s why in every terrorist incident the IB immediately name a Muslim organization whether it is Simi, or some other organization…
If you unfairly victimize innocent people, if you torture them and keep them in jail and destroy their lives, then it is not unnatural that some of them, or a few of them may indeed become terrorists at the end of it and some of their relatives and friends by seeing this kind of gross injustice being meted out to their friends and relatives may become terrorists. So this kind of false victimisation, unfair victimisation of innocent people can and does occasionally breed terrorism.
Senior Advocate Bharat Bhushan,
There must be a thorough enquiry of all terrorist incidents in India.Theres should be a commission for it and It should not be under any IB CBI RAW or .. It should be a commission of good people of good credentials, retired judges , I suggest that from Ahmedabad, temple (attack), parliament attack, Samjhauta express, Malegaon blasts,Bangalore Institute of Science, Hyderabad Mecca Masjid,Gokul chat, Lumbini Park, Batla House, ,…Nanded,, Banaras, Kanpur, of the entire terrorist incidents – everyone of these files need to be opened,
Dr. Suresh Khairnar, Social Activist
So the total fact that emerges from the court documents there were forged documents, made people sign on blank papers, they were engaged in illegal arrests, tampered telephone conversations, and they forced confession out of people.
Nirmalangshu Mukherjee, Author
Our judges judge by emotions, not byWhen the Parliament was attacked, what was the extent of turmoil? Very little. When Babri Masjid was brought down, the entire nation was in turmoil.
Swami Yugal Kishore Shastri
Ex-RSS Pracharak, “Gandhi of Ayodhya”
Kashmiri people have been subjected to so much deceit, fraud, and denial of justice.for (a) long period, long period. If I was a Kashmiri myself, I would have been a rebel myself
World Council of Arya Samaj