New Delhi: Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma on Thursday sparked another controversy by opposing death penalty awarded by the Supreme Court to Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

“Do not hang Afzal Guru but give him life imprisonment,” Beni Prasad Verma said while accusing the principal opposition BJP of playing vote bank politics.

On the eleventh anniversary of Parliament attack, BJP asked the government to announce the date of hanging convict Afzal Guru itself to pay ‘real tribute’ to the martyrs of the terror attack. "If government fixes date (for hanging Guru) and announce it today, this would be the real tribute to these martyrs," the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said.

Afzal Guru was sentenced to death on Dec 18, 2002 by a trial court, which was upheld by the Delhi High Court on Oct 29, 2003. His appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court on Aug 4, 2005. But seven years have gone by and a decision on his mercy petition is still awaited. Meanwhile, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that a decision on convict Afzal Guru's mercy petition will be taken after the current Parliament session ends.

(JPN)

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