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'Hang Afzal by Dec 13; or take back medals'
November 24, 2006 20:11 IST
Families of security personnel who died in the 2001 terrorist attack on Parliament on Friday said they would return the posthumous bravery medals to President A P J Abdul Kalam if the government did not reject clemency pleas for death row convict Mohammad Afzal by December 13.
All India Anti-Terrorist Front chief M S Bitta told a joint news conference with family members of the slain security personnel that he would move the court to seek reopening of case against S A R Geelani, whom he accused of defending Afzal after his own acquittal in the same case.
"The honour that we received was an honour to our beloveds who sacrificed their lives in the attack. But if the government does not turn down clemency pleas for Afzal, we will have no option but to return the bravery medals to the President," Jayawati, widow of Delhi police head constable Bijender Singh, said.
Sardar Singh, whose son head constable Om Prakash died in the December 13, 2001 attack, lamented that calls for clemency to Afzal, who is facing execution in connection with the case, were encouraging terror in the country.
"Those who say nobody has a right to kill anybody in the name of execution in fact suggest that only terrorists can kill innocents... We will go to the President along with Bitta to return the medals if the government does not reject Afzal's plea by December 13 (the anniversary of the Parliament attack)," he remarked.Nine security personnel were killed in the terrorist strike on Parliament during the winter session in 2001. "Geelani's defence of Afzal is also surprising. We will also file a PIL seeking reopening of case against him as there were numerous weaknesses in his prosecution," Bitta said.