New Delhi: Members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday created pandemonium in the Lok Sabha and gave notice for adjournment of Question Hour to discuss delay in hanging Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
The principal opposition party disrupted the proceedings as they noisily demanded the hanging of Afzal Guru, sentenced to death for the terror attack on Parliament on this day 11 years ago.
Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj said, “Real tribute to Parliament attack martyrs will be only when government announces date to hang Guru.”
The bedlam began soon after as members of BJP and Shiv Sena gathered near the speaker's podium shouting slogans demanding that Afzal Guru be hanged.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar's repeated requests to members to run the question hour fell on deaf ears. "I will not adjourn the house today. We have just paid tributes to people who gave their lives protecting parliament. Did they give life for this," she asked sternly.
But this had little impact, and members of both parties continued with the sloganeering, forcing the speaker to first adjourn the house till 11.30 a.m. and later till noon.
Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shahsi Tharoor expressed sadness over repeated disruptions. "Sad that we mourn those who gave their lives to defend this institution of parliament and then betray it daily by disrupting its functioning," he said on Twitter.
Parliament was attacked by five armed Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists. Nine people were killed and over 15 injured in the attack. Four people - Afzal Guru, Delhi University professor S.A.R. Geelani, Navjot Sandhu alias Afsan Guru and her husband Shaukat Hussain Guru - were arrested in connection with the case. Geelani and Afsan were let off for lack of conclusive evidence. Shaukat Hussain Guru's death sentence was commuted to 10 years' imprisonment and he is now out of jail.
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.
The BJP has from time to time been demanding Afzal Guru's execution. The demands have become shriller after 26/11 terror attack convict Ajmal Kasab was hanged last month.
"If the government hangs Afzal Guru on December 13 itself, there cannot be anything better to pay homage to the martyrs of the December 13 attack on Parliament... It should hang the attacker of Parliament during the session of the House," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain had told reporters on Wednesday.