New Delhi: Centre is facing a lot of criticism for being highly secretive about President Pranab Mukherjee’s decision to reject the clemency plea of Afzal Guru sending a green signal for his execution.

Actually the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) was convinced that any leakage about the move for Afzal’s execution could create legal hurdles which might have stalled the execution for indefinite time. In the wake of this, the ministry maintained great secrecy. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde along with two MHA officials and Ministers of Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) were aware about the move.

Taking a lesson from the cases of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassins and convicts of Congress headquarter attack, the MHA maintained high secrecy.

It is important to note that hanging of convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and Congress office attack case has been pending for over a decade and a plea is lying before the Supreme Court to turn their death sentences into life term.

Union Home Secretary RK Singh was assigned the duty of keeping Afzal’s hanging a guarded secret. When the Court fixed February 9 as the date for Afzal’s hanging, RK Singh himself visited Finance Ministry to apprise P Chidambaram in this regard.

Jammu and Kashmir government was informed about the decision just 12 hours before Afzal’s hanging whereas rest of the states were issued red-alert only after his execution.


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