Sunday, June 08, 2008

Mohammed Afzal: just listen to the footfalls of the executioner

By John Cheeran
I don’t understand why Mohammed Afzal ‘Guru’ is concerned and confused regarding his future.
Apparently he has given an interview to a wire agency in New Delhi that could be termed a PR coup, by criticizing the UPA government for not cancelling the death sentence on him, delivered by the Supreme Court in 2004.
Afzal finds Tihar Jail a hell and wants to have a decision either way quickly. Afzal Guru tries to put political pressure on UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh through his interview by castigating their ineptitude to make a decision. That is not let him escape from the clutches of gallows.
And interestingly, advised by a spin doctor, he wants L K Advani as Prime Minister, so that the torturer can have a swift decision.
Well, If Mohammad Afzal wanted a quick decision on his life, he should remember that the Supreme Court gave it in 2004 and upheld it in 2005.
There was no dilly-dallying on decision making. Instead of sounding a martyr, Afzal should withdraw the mercy petition filed on his behalf. He should accept the legal terms of India and rest easy.
Every man should seek his own destiny.
Why did Afzal ask for President’s mercy in the first place? Remember Mohammad Afzal has been sentenced for death not for stealing apple from the parliament courtyard. I wish the jholawallahs too remember this.
It is time you withdrew your mercy petition and began the early morning walk to the gallows.
It is quite simple, Afzal. Simpler than your plans to slaughter the Indians.

1 comment:

Ayan Nandy said...

In Lisbon, where heretics were publicly burned, it sometimes happened that one of them, by particularly edifying recantation, would be granted a boon of being strangled before being put to into the flames. This would make the spectators so furious, that he authorities had a great difficulty preventing them from lynching the penitent and burning him on their own account. The spectacle of writhing torments of the victims was, in fact, one of the principal pleasures to which the populace looked forward to enliven a somewhat drab existence. I cannot doubt that pleasure greatly contributed to the general belief that burning of heretics was a righteous act. The same sort of thing applies to people who believe that a man named Afzal singlehandedly masterminded an attack on the Parliament and sooner he is killed the better.


It's true that Afzal wasn't accused of stealing apple. For five months, from the time he was arrested to the day the police charge-sheet was filed, Mohammed Afzal, lodged in a high-security prison, had no legal defence, no legal advice. No top lawyers, no defence committee, and no campaign. Of all the four accused, he was the most vulnerable. His case was far more complicated than Geelani's. Significantly, during much of this time, Afzal's younger brother Hilal was illegally detained by the Special Operations Group (SOG) in Kashmir. He was released after the chargesheet was filed.

Assuming Afzal was involved, don't you believe that we must know who masterminded the attack? Will it be easier to know that if the prime source of evidence is destroyed?

And did you ever think of the intention of the people who had been busy spreading rumours for years that Islamists are coming to hijack a flight to release Afzal?

For months before the attack on parliament, both the government
and the police had been saying that parliament could be attacked. On
December 12 2001, the then prime minister, AB Vajpayee, warned of an
imminent attack. On December 13 it happened. Given that there was an
"improved security drill", how did a car bomb packed with explosives enter
the parliament complex?

Within days of the attack, the Special Cell of the Delhi police
said it was a meticulously planned joint operation of Jaish-e-Mohammad and
Lashkar-e-Taiba. They said the attack was led by a man called "Mohammad" who
was also involved in the hijacking of flight IC-814 in 1998. (This was later
refuted by the Central Bureau of Investigation.) None of this was ever
proved in court. What evidence did the Special Cell have for its claim?

So many questions to ask John, I am afraid I might bore you.

The entire attack was recorded live on CCTV. Two Congress party
MPs, Kapil Sibal and Najma Heptullah, demanded in parliament that the CCTV
recording be shown to the members. They said that there was confusion about
the details of the event. The chief whip of the Congress party, Priyaranjan
Dasmunshi, said, "I counted six men getting out of the car. But only five
were killed. The closed circuit TV camera recording clearly showed the six
men." If Dasmunshi was right, why did the police say that there were only
five people in the car? Who was the sixth person? Where is he now? Why was
the CCTV recording not produced by the prosecution as evidence in the trial?
Why was it not released for public viewing?


Why was parliament adjourned after some of these questions were
raised?

On December 19 2001, six days after the parliament attack,
police commissioner SM Shangari identified one of the attackers who was
killed as Mohammad Yasin Fateh Mohammed (alias Abu Hamza) of the
Lashkar-e-Taiba, who had been arrested in Mumbai in November 2000 and
immediately handed over to the Jammu and Kashmir police. He gave detailed
descriptions to support his statement. If police commissioner Shangari was
right, how did Yasin, a man in the custody of the Jammu and Kashmir police,
end up participating in the parliament attack? If he was wrong, where is Yasin now?

Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so. - Bertrand Russell

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