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Parliament attack victims' kin call Omar 'insensitive'

September 29, 2011 20:41 IST

Reacting to Omar Abdullah's stand against hanging of death row convict Afzal Guru, families of the 2001 Parliament attack victims on Thursday accused the Jammu and Kashmir chief minister of being "insensitive" and demanded setting up of a special court to fast-track terror cases.

"If the lives of some ministers were lost in the attack, would the trial be this delayed? While seeking clemency for

Guru, is Omar realising the pain we are going through? This just shows his insensitivity," said Sunitha Bisht, wife of Vikram Singh, a victim of the 2001 Parliament attack.

Sunita was among other families who had gathered in Delhi on Thursday to demand death for Afzal Guru and to protest against the bid by the Jammu and Kashmir government to pass a resolution in the state assembly seeking clemency for him.

"The Supreme Court has already passed its order sentencing Afzal to death, then what is the need for this resolution? The state is not higher than the Supreme Court, it should not overrule it," said 40-year-old Munish, wife of another victim, Des Raj.

Accusing the Centre of "politicising the issue" the families asked the government to focus more on the welfare of the victims' kin and to set up a special court to try terror-related cases.

Addressing mediapersons along with the families of the victims, Anti Terrorist Front head M S Bitta accused the Omar Abdullah-led government of "conspiring" to save the death row convict.

"The bid to pass the resolution is part of a conspiracy to save Afzal Guru. There is no doubt he has to be hanged. He didn't just take the lives of people but waged war against the entire nation," said Bitta.

"It has been over a decade since the attack. We have had little help from the government. Some were promised land, some jobs, but those remained as mere promises," said Sardar Singh, who lost his son Om Prakash in the attack.

"Besides, a Bill needs to be passed by the Parliament, which makes provisions for setting up of a special anti-terrorism military court. There are so many families like us who have lost their loved ones in terror-related cases and who are awaiting justice for years," he added.

Bitta also slammed the Tamil Nadu assembly for passing a resolution asking President Pratibha Patil to review the mercy petitions of Rajiv Gandhi's killers.

"Both Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi have Z-plus security. How would they know what fear is? By seeking clemency for terrorists, they are doing grave injustice to the common man," Bitta told mediapersons here.

The government in Punjab was not spared of Bitta's diatribe either. "A resolution is coming up in Punjab assembly seeking clemency for Devinder Singh Bhullar responsible for the bomb blast in Raisina road. How do people in power know what normal people go through? The governments in these states have no basis to rule," he said.

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