Tharoor says Afzal hanging ‘badly handled’, Cong hits back

Comment comes days after 5 J&K Cong MLAs said it was a mistake not to let Afzal’s family meet him.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi/srinagar | Updated: February 10, 2015 1:19 am
Shashi Tharoor, Afzal Guru, Afzal Guru hanging Shashi Tharoor

Once again putting his party in an embarrassing position, Shashi Tharoor on Monday said that the execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was both “wrong” and “badly handled”. The Congress quickly distanced itself from his observation saying “all the due processes of law were followed” by the then UPA II government.

. @pankajsrini I think the hanging was both wrong &badly handled. Family should have been warned, given a last meeting & body returned

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“I think the hanging was both wrong and badly handled. Family should have been warned, given a last meeting and body returned,” Tharoor said. Afzal Guru was hanged on February 9, 2013. Tharoor’s remarks left the Congress squirming. Tharoor’s comments come just days after five Congress MLAs in Jammu and Kashmir had in a written statement accepted that it was a mistake by the then UPA government not to allow relatives have a last meeting with Afzal. The letter was handed over to Independent MLA Engineer Rasheed, whose crucial vote helped the party re-elect Ghulam Nabi Azad to the Rajya Sabha. Azad, the Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, won by a margin of just two votes.

Hours before the Rajya Sabha elections on Saturday, five Congress MLAs — Haji Rashid, Vikar Rasool, Amin Bhat, Gulzar Wani and G M Saroori issued a written statement. They also justified Rasheed’s demand for return of Afzal’s remains to his family as “humanitarian”.

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The Congress rubbished Tharoor’s observation saying “individuals may have a different opinion but that is not and will never be the position of the party.”
“All the due processes of law were followed. The Supreme Court had convicted him and it (the execution) was a culmination of a judicial process. The review petitions were also rejected after which the order of the the highest court of the land was executed. So where is the question of the government being involved in it,” party spokesperson Ajoy Kumar said.

When pointed out that Tharoor has also suggested that the family of Afzal should have been informed prior to his execution and that the body should have been handed over to them, Kumar merely said “ask Shashi”.

Meanwhile, hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani said that the NC, Congress and PDP are responsible for the hanging of Afzal Guru for the sake of power. “Omar Abdullah, Mufti Sayed and Congress leaders for the sake of power could have hanged Afzal Guru with their own hands to remain in power.”


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  1. Jai Kumar
    Feb 10, 2015 at 1:35 pm
    The way the execution was carried out was a depiction of the immaturity of the political elite and their callous disregard for norms of civilised behaviour But then what more can one expect from the imbecile politicians.
    1. A
      Feb 9, 2015 at 7:09 pm
      Osama Bin Laden's body should also be returned to his family so that they can make a shrine of it? Mr. Tharoor you are living in a dreamworld. As an elected leader you should be thinking when you want to hand Geelani the traitor.
      1. V
        Feb 9, 2015 at 5:19 pm
        That's why we need congress mukth Bharat.
        1. B
          Feb 9, 2015 at 8:54 pm
          Congress wallahs have always been gutless in the face of Islamic terrorism. Modi is made of different stuff.
          1. B
            Feb 9, 2015 at 8:53 pm
            Modi is the first Indian leader to have the guts to hang this terrorist. Well done !
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