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ALL rules were followed on Guru's execution: Shinde

Last updated on: February 11, 2013 19:17 IST

'Terror has no colour'

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The decision to carry out the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was legal, not political, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said on Monday.

He also added that the due course of law was followed and Guru's family was sent a letter containing the news by speed post on February 7.

When asked about his infamous statement on 'Hindu terror', an irked Shinde replied, "What is the link with Afzal Guru? I have said over and over again that terror has no colour."

On whether Guru's family members will be allowed to visit his grave, Shinde said he will "consider" the issue.

Justifying the hush-hush manner in which the execution was carried out, he said the issue was a sensitive one and secrecy had to be maintained.

 

When a reporter asked why the execution was done in secrecy if the death penalty was to act as a deterrent, he said police investigations and intelligence operations cannot be done in the open.

 

"If that is done, the country will not run," he said.

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Image: Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde


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'I knew you will want details'

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"It was the jail authorities' decision to inform Guru's family by speed post, it was not the home ministry's decision. If Guru's family wants to visit his grave, we shall consider it," said Shinde.

Guru was buried with full religious rites inside the premises of Tihar Jail on Saturday evening.

During the press briefing, journalists kept asking him who had signed the speed post informing Guru's family about the hanging and when exactly it was sent to his hometown of Sopore in southern Kashmir.

In response, Shinde fished out a photocopy of the speed post acknowledgement sent to Guru's family and waved it to the media triumphantly, saying," See, I knew you would want to know the details, so I carried this with me."

Asked about the possibility of retaliation as threatened by some militant groups, the home minister said the government has to be vigilant about such threats.

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Image: Tihar Jail


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'All rules were followed'

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He also dismissed reports about Guru's execution being politically timed, saying, "The execution is not a political decision. The decision was taken as per the law. I personally told (Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister) Omar Abdullah on February 8 that the execution will be held tomorrow (February 9)."

When a journalist asked him, "The decision about this execution was taken quickly. Who is next," Shinde laughed off the matter, saying the country would know when the matter came up in court.

He mentioned that the mercy pleas of the killers of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and Punjab chief minister Beant Singh were up next for consideration.

"The cases of Rajiv Gandhi and Beant Singh's killers are still pending in court. As per the rule, everything was followed," insisted Shinde.

"In the cases of Rajiv Gandhi and the chief minister, the cases are still pending in the Supreme Court. After rejection (of the mercy petitions), cases were filed in the Madras high court and the Supreme Court. These cases are still under consideration before the judiciary. Hence it (Afzal) is different from these cases," he said.

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Image: Rajiv Gandhi


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