Activists protest Afzal Guru\’s hangingFeb 9, 2013 | Pratirodh Bureau
Scores of students, journalists accompanied by members of CPI (ML), Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO), Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) and People Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) protested against the hanging of Parliament attack convict at Jantar Mantar today.
The police lathicharged the protesters, including girl students, and detained about 30 people. Gautam Navlakha, Sundaram and Harish from PUDR were also detained by the police.
They were taken to Mandir Marg and Parliament Street police stations.
Members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal also scuffled with students and activists. When the protesters tried to put up posters supporting Afzal, the right-wing groups snatched the posters and tore them.
Here are the statements by various groups condemning Afzal Guru’s hanging:
STATEMENT BY CRPP
The CRPP condemns strongly the illegal execution of Mohd. Afzal Guru. The central home minister and the home secretary have gone on record saying that every procedure has been followed in the case of Afzal Guru. None of his family members are aware of this decision of the Government of India.
Nor do the lawyers of Afzal Guru. It is mandatory on the side of the government to inform the petitioners who had filed the clemency petition.
Afzal’s wife Tabassum had filed a clemency petition demanding justice for her husband who never throughout the trial got an opportunity to defend himself and demand justice. She had in that petition even traced his early days in Kashmir and how he was continually being harassed and tortured by the notorious STF of J&K to act as an informer for the state. She showed in that petition how the ordeal has still been continuing in the life of her husband and their family in their quest for justice. The fact remains that neither Tabassum nor any of her family members have been informed about the rejection of this petition.
It is absolutely necessary that once a clemency petition is rejected the petitioner should be informed so that s/he can take recourse to other provisions that are guaranteed by the judiciary of India. There are provisions for judicial review which are quite exhaustive. But Afzal Guru
was denied once again his last chance to represent himself and get relief from the gallows.
The clandestine execution of the death sentence of Mr. Afzal Guru violating all procedures and even the law of the land is nothing but desperate attempts of the ruling class parties like the Congress and the BJP to bet for votes appealing to the frenzy of jingoism. After having alienated the masses of the people and even the middle class through their anti-people,
pro-market policies resulting in widespread miseries for the working people these parties have lost their faces and credibility and hence this desperate, brazen display of competitive jingoism on the life of someone who from the day one had never a chance to defend himself properly.
We at the CRPP appeal to all the democratic and progressive sections of the subcontinent to see through these devious designs of the ruling classes and forge a mass movement to abolish the evil of death penalty from the subcontinent.
The CRPP protests against the arrest of Prof.SAR Geelani who is our Working President while on his way to Malviya Nagar by the notorious Special Cell of the Delhi Police. The Special Cell as usual is browbeating in every possible way to terrorise the people from expressing their dissent against the clandestine execution of Mr. Afzal Guru. We demand his immediate and unconditional release. We call upon all progressive and democratic sections to protest against such fascist designs of the Indian state.
STATEMENT BY PUCL
The PUCL condemns the hanging of Afzal Guru in Tihar Jail early in the morning today.
The tearing hurry with which Afzal Guru was hanged, accompanied by the flouting of all established norms by not giving his family their legal right to meet him before taking him to the gallows, clearly indicates that there were political considerations behind taking this step. More shameful is the explanation of the Home department that the wife and family of Afzal Guru were intimated of the hanging by a mail sent by Speed Post and Registered Post. Decency and humanity demanded that the Union Government give prior intimation to the family and an opportunity to meet him. Such a surreptitious action of the government also deprives the family of Afzal Guru to right to seek legal remedy.
PUCL also condemns the repressive stand of the Delhi police in not allowing a group of people who were protesting against the hanging and detaining them in police stations. We are equally concerned by reports that right-wing goons were permitted by the police to use violence against the protestors. PUCL asserts the right of citizens to dissent and express their opposition to capital punishment in a peaceful manner.
PUCL reiterates its demand for the abolition of the death penalty. PUCL is of the view that India must not retain in its statute book something so abhorrent to human rights as the death penalty. More especially, when more than one hundred and fifty countries have banned or put a moratorium on it. PUCL feels that as the land of Buddha and Gandhi, death penalty has no place.
PUCL feels that starting with Kasab, now with Afzal Guru, the country is going to witness a spate of executions. We give a call to the nation to break this spiral of executions.
STATEMENT BY CPI (ML)
The CPI(ML) said Afzal Guru\\\’s execution was carried out to "appease the communal fascist forces who want to make Narendra Modi India\\\’s prime minister."
"Faced with growing popular opposition and resistance on every front, the Congress party and the UPA government are desperately trying to appease the BJP and the communal-fascist brigade," General Secretary of CPI(ML) Liberation, Dipankar Bhattacharya, said in a statement in New Delhi.
"He had no lawyer to represent him when the trial court convicted him without any direct evidence and yet the Supreme Court upheld the death penalty in the name of satisfying \\\’the collective conscience of society\\\’ even as the high court and the Supreme Court passed adverse remarks on the shoddy nature of investigation and dubious quality of evidence produced by the police," the Left leader said.
"Nodescription has ever been hanged in this country for the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom, for all the anti-Muslim violence including the horrific Mumbai and Surat riots of 1992 and the 2002 Gujarat genocide, or for the massacres of dalits, adivasis and other oppressed sections by private armies or the state."
"Far from satisfying the \\\’collective conscience\\\’ of the Indian society, the hanging of Afzal Guru only exposes the double standards of justice," Bhattacharya said, adding that the democratic movement in the country "will reject and resist this Congress-BJP collusion and intensify the battle for justice and democratic rights".