Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Guilty as Charged

Iam writing this post against my better instincts. To write 3 posts on Mohd Afzal is to glorify him - a glory that he does not deserve. I have followed the different articles on this case religiously and now my mind is made up - To be Hanged till Death.

For those arguing for his clemency I will just point out that Mr Afzal himself has never requested pardon , never ever denied his alleged crimes. The Supreme Court in a recent ruling has pooh poohed his supporters claims in another case - The fact that he was tried separately and found guilty by 3 different courts ( The Sessions Court , The High Court and the Supreme Court ) negates the claim that he was denied a fair trial. India is not a banana republic, ours are not kangaroo courts.Two other persons tried alongwith him were acquitted ( The Supreme Court said Geelani's conduct during this period was very disturbing but still gave him the benefit of doubt). So take away the shroud of innocence and conspiracy theories that his supporters would cover Afzal with and we realize what we are really facing - Blackmail , pure and simple.

Hang him on the last Friday of Ramzan and face the backlash of Kashmiri Muslims , warns Ghulam Nabi Azad. To somehow portray Afzal as a God's soldier whose death will see Kashmir turning to a jihadi battleground is Osama Bin Laden's job - not a democratically elected CM's. Farooq Abdullah says Hang him and we will not sit silent, remember Maqbool Bhatt. Mr Abdullah , to refresh your memory, Maqbool Bhatt was the founder of JKLF who was convicted of killing an Indian intelligence officer. His death did result in the terrorist movement in Kashmir rising to monstrous proportions - but should that be an argument for Afzal's clemency. Are we going to show ourselves to be so weak kneed and spineless to terrorists ? Is striking such a Faustian bargain really going to save us like the "person who kept feeding the crocodile hoping it would eat him last".

One thing that astounded me was the ease with which Afzal's family got an audience with the President. Mr Kalam , you should have shown better judgement. Was this person the captain of the Indian cricket team returning from a series victory overseas? He is just a terrorist glorified by a lot of pseudo secularists , media outlets , self serving politicians , human rights activists etc jumping onto his clemency bandwagon.

Afzal has committed a heinous crime against the nation.Let him now pay the penalty.

P.S: ( Oct 22- 7:45 am ) :- Yesterday I had occasion to read the statement released by Afzal's wife. This statement was released in 2004 before her husband's case came up in the SC. The contents were disturbing to say the least.However , I still stand by this post. The Judiciary is the one institution I still have some respect for. When a case has been tried in the Supreme Court , no less, I have full confidence that the judges will have gone into all aspects.All of us need to respect this verdict . Otherwise where do we stop. Today it is Mohd Afzal, tomorrow it will be someone like Dhananjay Chatterjee.

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