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Afzal's hanging will cause communal tension: Farooq Abdullah
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October 14, 2006 14:34 IST
Last Updated: October 14, 2006 17:55 IST

Advocating clemency for death-row convict Mohammad Afzal Guru, National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah has warned that if he is hanged, the 'nation will go up in flames' as terrorists will 'destroy' communal harmony among Hindus and Muslims.

"The terrorists will do such things, which will destroy the relationship between Hindus and Muslims here. Because one party, which is favouring the hanging, will go up and shout whatever it can and the relationship will grow so bad," Dr Abdullah said.

"I don't want such things to happen in India, because some crook, some bad man will go and do something in a temple. Somebody will do something in a mosque. Kashmir will anyway go up in flames and there will be turmoil, which India will have to face," Dr Abdullah said in an interview to a television channel.

Claiming that another casualty of hanging the Parliament attack convict will be the India-Pakistan peace process, the former Jammu and Kashmir [Images] chief minister said Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf [Images] might not be able to 'control his army chiefs of various regions'.

"The peace process will suffer because General Musharraf will have a tough time in trying to control his army chiefs of various regions. And some army chief might come up and throw him out and if that happens where will the peace process go? It will go back to zero," he explained.

He also claimed that the judges who ordered the sentence might be 'murdered' as a consquence of the hanging.

"We have paid the price of Maqbool Butt's hanging by the judge who was shot in Kashmir. Those judges will need to be protected,'' he added.

Dr Abdullah said if Afzal's death sentence was not commuted in to life imprisonment he would become a 'hero and this would give a massive weapon' to Kashmiri separatists.

"You will be making him a hero for centuries to come. He's a man who is least important at this time. Secondly you are going to give a massive weapon to the separatists in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which is vital for India, which has been fighting terrorism for nineteen years, the separatists are already saying this is the way they (India) treat Kashmiris," he said.

Describing the punishment to Afzal as 'too harsh', Dr Abdullah said the evidence put forward before the judges was correctly analysed.

"I say the evidence put forward before the honourable judges has been correctly analysed by them but the sentence passed by them is too extreme," he added.

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