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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Death sentence for Afzal Guru

Personally, I am convinced about the illegality of a death sentence. (Please read my earlier post on death sentence). The issue has against come at the forefront owing to the death sentence passed on by a Delhi court against Afzal Guru, prime accused for the 2001 attack on Indian parliament.

It is difficult for an outsider to gauge the facts on the ground in Kashmir because of the heavy propaganda machineries from all sides. However, as per an independent source, the Economist:
In Kashmir the death sentence has been greeted by big protests. Many Kashmiris believe he is innocent, and are incensed by the (very rare) imposition of the death penalty and by the date fixed for its execution: the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan…..With Kashmiris weary of the war and Pakistan trying to make peace with India, separatist politicos had been squabbling among themselves and losing popularity. The issue has been a godsend for them (sic separatists), and even mainstream politicians have sought to have the death penalty overturned.

Killing Guru doesn’t go one inch in solving the Kashmir problem. One can be certain that if Guru’s execution is carried out, at least a few new terrorists will be born. The minds of terrorists who kill innocent people are hardened enough to be not bothered by death sentences. On the other hand, it will add a lot of goodwill for India in Kashmir, if his death sentence is converted to multiple life imprisonments. It will also go a long way in improving India’s dubious record on human rights in Kashmir. For those who believe that unless Afzal is killed; India will give signals of being a soft-state, and inadequate considerations for the victim’s families; please give a moment of consideration to the thought that living is tougher than dying. As Karunanidhi said yesterday, “The death penalty means even those who have committed grave crimes suffer only for a few minutes and then slip into peace. It fails to make them think about the crime they committed and or repent for their offence. I think the award of death penalty must be reconsidered.”

The pardon request is currently under consideration with even the Kashmiri CM asking for Guru’s pardon. Will the Indian president take time out of his usual schedule of giving pep-talk to school kids and deal with this complex issue with the level headedness it deserves?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is the real tribute that one can pay to those 13 irrelevant souls that died on that day protecting India. What message does it provide to those real and ordinary men who shed their lives, rather than those who live in ivory towers and preach compassion in shrill repeated tones?

Mercy is shown to those who deserve, not to those who are religiouly committed to bombing and kill others not toeing their idea of faith?

He deserves death and nothing else, the faster it happens; the better it is.