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'Can Afzal be hanged when Sarabjit issue is there'
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May 21, 2008 20:35 IST

In controversial remarks, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil said when the government has been pressing for clemency for Sarabjit Singh facing death sentence in Pakistan, how can the demand be made for the hanging of Afzal Guru, condemned prisoner in Parliament attack.

"You want Afzal Guru to be hanged. (At the same time) you are saying that don't hang a person who has gone to Pakistan (Singh)," Patil told reporters in Latur on Tuesday.

"These people want others to be hanged. What are you doing? You are saying don't hang that person (Singh) and you say hang this person (Guru) here," Patil said and added that law would take its own course.

Guru was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court for being involved in the criminal conspiracy to attack Parliament on December 13, 2001. His clemency plea is pending with the government.

The statement of Patil is likely to stir a row with main the opposition BJP already slamming Patil for his "irresponsible" comments.

"The government which has been dithering on the execution of Afzal Guru is actually supporting and playing vote bank politics by giving such absurd reasons," party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

The "ill-informed Union home minister of the country does not even know that while Sarabjit Singh was a case of mistaken identity, Guru's role and involvement in Parliament attack is proven," he said.

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