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Announce Afzal’s execution date: BJP

New Delhi: On the eleventh anniversary of Parliament attack, BJP on Thursday said the government should announce the date for hanging convict Afzal Guru today itself to pay "real tribute" to the martyrs of the strike.
    
"Real tribute would be only if the Home Minister assures the House today that we have paid tributes to the martyrs but their families and country will get relief only when he (Guru) would be hanged.
    
"If they fix a 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 inside Parliament House complex.
    
She was talking to reporters soon after paying homage to the nine martyrs of the 2001 Parliament attack.
    
Swaraj said every year the country pays homage to these martyrs. "But one question is still unanswered that the attacker who has been twice or thrice sentenced to death by the Supreme Court, why has he not been hanged so far?"
    
She said after the hanging of 26/11 Mumbai terror convict Ajmal Kasab, "hope has increased that the government will show courage to do what it has not done so far." Minister of State for Home R P N Singh criticised Swaraj for making the demand, saying the occasion should not be politicised.
    
"We have just paid tributes to those martyrs. I think it is extremly unfortunate that the moment we get away from there, we get into politics. I think to politicise this thing on every December 13, is not paying real homage to martyrs of this country," he said.
    
Singh said matters related to hanging convicts are not dealt by Parliament and are handled by the courts.
    
"There is a process that has been explained by Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. He has said the file is lying with him and he will look at it and make notings after the Parliament session," he said.

Party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain accused the government of showing "leniency" on the issue of hanging Guru.
    
"BJP wants to know that if Ajmal Kasab was hanged, then why there is delay in hanging Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. Why is the government showing leniency in hanging him. This is deplorable and an embarassment for the country," he told reporters outside Parliament House.
    
He alleged that Congress was politicising the issue when there is "little opposition from any quarter" on the issue of hanging the convict.
    
On a Congress leader opposing the execution of Guru, he said the party "demands his hanging irrespective of any names". He alleged Congress was looking at the issue "through the prism of religion".

(Agencies)

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