New Delhi: The execution of Parliament attack convict, Afzal Guru, has brought father-son duo- Farooq Abdullah and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah- face-to-face.

On one hand, Union Minster Farooq Abdullah has justified the Centre’s decision and the procedures for hanging the mastermind of 2001 Parliament attack and on the other hand J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said that there are many questions which the Centre must answer with regard to its decision for hanging Afzal Guru.

Asking Centre to prove that it was not selective on hanging of Afzal Guru, annoyed Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that the Centre’s decision would reinforce the sense of alienation and injustice among youths in Kashmir Valley.

Omar observed that the long-term implications of Afzal’s hanging are "far more worrying" as they are related to the new generation of youth in Kashmir "who may not have identified with Maqbool Bhatt but will identify with Afzal Guru." Bhat was hanged in 1984 for murder of Indian diplomat Ravindra Mhatre in UK.

The Chief Minister further said that it was a tragedy that Afzal was not allowed to meet his family during his last moments. He also ridiculed Centre for informing Afzal’s family members through speed post about the rejection of his mercy petition by President Pranab Mukherjee and his scheduled execution on Saturday.

"If we are going to inform someone by post that his family member is going to be hanged, there is something seriously wrong with the system," he said.

Taking strong exception to the surprise execution, the Chief Minister said, "There are others on death row who are also implicated in attacks on democracy. But they have not been executed. Then why the government was selective in this case.”

“Is a Chief Minister of a state not a symbol of democracy? Is a former Prime Minister not a symbol of democracy?," he said while referring to the death row convicts in the cases of assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.

Meanwhile, while justifying the government’s decision, Union Minister and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah said," The Supreme Court and the High Court had already passed their judgements. And then his mercy petition was rejected by the President. He was hanged. So, the matter is over.”

Abdullah, however, felt sad for the family of Afzal Guru who did not get a chance to meet him before he was hanged.

"I too feel sad that his family could not meet him and say goodbye.. Pity... That we talk in different terms...Okay. But do not play it up....Don't create tragedies for the future, "Abdullah said.

Further justifying Centre’s decision, he said, "The execution was according to the law. How many of us would have died if his plan had succeeded at that time.”


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