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Patil asked to reject Guru’s mercy plea
New Delhi, Jun 23 (IANS):
Published on 23 Jun. 2010 11:49 PM IST
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The union home ministry has asked President Pratibha Patil’s office to reject parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s mercy plea, informed sources said.
Guru is on the death row since 2002 for the 2001 parliament attack. His wife Tabassum filed a mercy petition with the Rashtrapati Bhavan four years ago.
The sources said the mercy petition was sent to the home ministry for its view and it returned the file last week, rejecting the plea because of the heinous nature of the crime.
With the home ministry recommending that the plea be rejected, it is now up to the president to take a call on the fate of Guru, exercising her powers under Article 72 of the constitution.
Meanwhile, “we’ve left it to Allah!” was the reaction of the distraught family of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru following media reports that the home ministry had recommended his hanging.
“We don’t know about the development. We have no knowledge if the home ministry has taken any decision on it,” Guru’s cousin, who did not want to be named, told IANS.
A published report Wednesday said the government had asked President Pratibha Patil to reject the mercy plea of Guru, who is on the death row for the 2001 parliament attack.
Confident that the government won’t fast track his execution, Guru’s cousin said: “We have left it all to Allah. He is the best judge to deliver justice. We firmly believe that fate is written, and we have submitted ourselves before the will of god.”
Attempts to get in touch with Guru’s wife Tabassum, who has filed the petition with the president’s office, failed as she refuses to talk to the media.
“Sorry, Pyari (Tabassum) cannot speak. She is not in a position to,” said the cousin, who works in a nursing home in Sopore, 50 km from Srinagar. The cousin said that the 40-year-old Guru had written to the home ministry seeking a quick decision on his mercy petition saying the solitary confinement of several years in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail was taking its toll on him.
“He (Guru) has requested that he should be shifted to the Srinagar Central Jail if the decision on his plea will take too long. We don’t even know what happened to that application,” the cousin said. Guru, a medicine and surgical instrument dealer in Jammu and Kashmir, was given the death penalty in 2002 on charges of hatching the conspiracy.
His sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2005. The sentence was scheduled to be carried out Oct 20, 2006. But his execution was stayed after his wife sought clemency. The petition is 28th in a list of mercy applications before Patil.
As per the procedures, the president had sought the views of the home ministry, which in turn asked the Delhi government to give its views.
The Delhi government earlier this month returned the file to the home ministry favouring the hanging of Guru but asked it to take into consideration any possible law and order problem.

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