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'Afzal's clemency petition is a fight for justice'
October 12, 2006 16:47 IST
The clemency petiton of Mohammed Afzal Guru, facing execution for the Parliament attack, is a fight for justice and not a mere mercy plea, according to Delhi University lecturer S A R Geelani who was acquitted in the same case.
"There are a lot of misgivings about the petition filed before the President. It is not a mercy appeal but a fight for justice," Geelani said in Srinagar on Thursday.
"Our campaign is not for defending a criminal," Geelani, vice president of the society for the Protection of Detainees and Prisoners' Rights, told reporters adding, the petition was submitted to President A P J Abdul Kalam as Afzal did not get a fair trial.
"You cannot prove anyone guilty or innocent till he is given a chance to defend himself and provided a fair trial. Afzal was denied both of these rights as enshrined in the law," he claimed.
When asked about Wednesday's Supreme Court order on clemency appeals, Geelani said, "It does not affect us as we are not seeking clemency on political, regional or religious basis."
Afzal was awarded death penalty based on circumstantial evidence against him as the apex court had absolved him of the charges of being a member of any terrorist organisation, Geelani claimed.
He said a seminar would be held in Srinagar on October 17 to gain more support for a fair trial to Afzal.