Afzal Guru was an innocent youth, should not have been hanged, says Mehbooba Mufti
PDP leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday said that they didn't want Afzal Guru to be hanged. She was addressing a press conference at her home in Srinagar. This statement comes exactly six years after the 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was hanged on February 9, 2013. "This is a demand that has been made by PDP since Afzal Guru was hanged. Mufti saheb had also appealed to the then President that the man should be forgiven. We also requested that his body be given to his family, our stand on it has not changed." His body was buried within the precincts of Delhi's Tihar Jail.
The December 13, 2001 attack was conducted by the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) gunmen, who sneaked into Parliament in a car withfake stickers. They drove into the then Vice President Krishna Kant’s car parked in the premises and began firing. The ministers and MPs escaped unhurt. The attack was foiled due to the immediate reaction of the security personnel present on the spot. Among the dead were five Delhi Police personnel, a woman Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) trooper, two Parliament watch and ward staff and a gardener. A journalist who was injured died later. All five terrorists were also shot dead.
The gunmen were carrying AK47 rifles, grenade launchers, pistols and grenades. An investigation revealed that they had managed to breach the security around the Parliamentary complex by using a fake identity sticker on the car they drove.
The attack was launched right after a session when more than 100 people including politicians were inside the Parliament building. Atal Behari Vajpayee, who was then the prime minister, said India's fight against terrorism had reached its final stage (Vajpayee was not in the complex at the time.). The government vowed a tough response.