Archive for the ‘justice’ Category

afzal the victim in the hands of media

Posted: October 17, 2007 in justice

supreme court’s verdict to give death sentence to Afzal Guru, the prime accused in the parliament attack, has triggered a nation wide debate. There are people who want him to be hanged. For them, Afzal is the tip of the ice berg of threat to the secutrity of the whole nation. on the other hand, there are human rights activists who argue that the procedure of trail and inquiry was mamipulated. There are also third category of people who are against capital punishment. The parliament was attacked on Dec.13, 2001. Incidently, the attack came at a time when parliament was in turmoil over issues like the coffin case and the passing of Prevention of Terrorism act(POTA) bill. Delhi police special cell completed its entire investigation in a record time of one week and quickly arrested four people-three kashmiri men and a sikh woman for helping the attackers. It was the first case booked under POTA. Human rights activists who raised doubts about the procedure of the inquiry sais that this case is indication of the purpose for which this draconian law was created.
At that time when the attack occured, S,A.R Geelani, a proffessor of the Arabic in the Zakir Hussain college, University of Delhi, was arrested within less than 24 hours of the incident. Police labeled him as the prime conspirator in the attack and also compiled a twenty five thousand page report within a week. POTA trial court had found all the five suspects guilty and given death penalty to them. Meanwhile, the All India Defense committee, formed by social activists like Nandita Haskar and Arundhati Roy filed an appeal in the Delhi High court. Finally Geelani was acquitted. This judgement was a big blow for the POTA trial court and the Delhi police. The delhi police filed an appeal in Supreme Court, which finally led to the death sentence in the case of Afzal. In a letter that Afzal wrote wrote ro his council Susheel Kumar from Tihar jail, he said that he had not been allowed to speak out in the court and was not provided any leghal support from the government. He also mentioned that he was forced by the police to confess the crime in front of hundereds of media persons. It is sad in a country like India, which is proud of its democratic values and ethos, a debatable report should be used as the basis of the death sentence. It is also worthwhile to mention here that many countries across the world have already banned the capital punishment, pre-modren law. If Afzal is hanged without giving him a last chance to tender his version, it would be a disgrace to the democratic values of the country.

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