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President Kalam meets Afzal's family
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October 05, 2006 15:49 IST

The family of Mohammad Afzal Guru, who has been sentenced to death in the Parliament attack case, met President A P J Abdul Kalam at Rashtrapati Bhavan [Images] on Thursday afternoon. At the meeting were Afzal's mother Ayesha Begum, his wife Tabassum and seven-year-old son Ghalib.

They were accompanied by noted Supreme Court lawyer Nandita Haksar. The meeting lasted over twenty minutes.

Ghalib is believed to have told Kalam that he wanted to be a doctor and he would be able to realise his dream only if his 'abbu' lives.

Speaking to the press after the meeting, the family seemed upbeat and said they 'hope justice will be done in Afzal's case'.

"We told President Kalam that justice was not done to us as Kashmiris. My husband was not given a fair trial, as we had no advocate to represent him at any of the courts. He told us that he would go through our mercy petition carefully. We are confident that he would do us justice," Tabassum said.

When asked if the family was trying to give it a political colour, she said that there was no room for politicising the issue as she has come with a mercy petition. "My husband is not against the mercy petition. He simply seems to have lost faith in the judicial system," she explained.

Afzal's mother expressed similar sentiments and she chose to speak in Kashmiri, which was translated by her daughter- in-law.

Haksar, who is playing host to the family, lost her cool when a journalist asked Tabassum if Kashmir was part of India or not. "No political questions," she said.

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