Omar Questions Centre's Handling of Afzal's Family
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A controversy erupted today over the purported communication from the Centre to the family of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru about the decision to hang him on Saturday with the family alleging they had come to know about his hanging from TV channels and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah joining the criticism.

Though Union Home Secretary R K Singh had yesterday said tersely that the family of Guru, a resident of Sopore in North Kashmir, was sent a communication through speedpost, the family claimed having not received any such communication raising questions as to whether there was a serious effort to inform the family.

"Guru's family was informed about the decision of the Government that his mercy petition has been rejected. This was done through speedpost," Singh had said. The 43-year-old death row convict was hanged at 8 AM and buried in Tihar jail yesterday in a secret operation.

Omar also questioned the rationale of informing Guru's family through post saying the reliability of the medium itself was questionable.

"If we are going to inform someone by post that his family member is going to be hanged, there is something seriously wrong with the system," he said.

The Chief Minister expressed concern about his government having been informed about the execution just 12 hours in advance and said he was hurt that the family of Guru had not been informed in due time.

Omar said it was a "tragedy" that Guru was not allowed to meet his family before he was hanged and not allowed a "final farewell"

Omar said his government could have arranged a state government plane to take Guru's family to Delhi for meeting the death row convict before his hanging.

On Guru's family not allowed to meet him, Omar said, "I cannot reconcile myself to the fact that his (Afzal) family was not allowed to see him before he was killed or executed. That to my mind, on a human level, is the biggest tragedy of this execution."

Director(Prisons) Vimla Mehra told PTI that the Union Home Ministry informed the Tihar jail authorities about the rejection of Guru's clemency plea on February 4 and asked them to make preparations for hanging.

Following the communication, Tihar authorities coordinated with Home Ministry officials following which a decision was taken to get a black warrant issued for the hanging, Mehra said.
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Daily Mail

Feb 11, 2013
02:07 PM

Saxenaji .... saare babulog eek jaise hee hain ... the exception and may be you were one are rare and far-far in-between that it is even worth considering ... as a retired civil servant (and very little is civil about our so called civil services), I am surprised you are surprised and think what the Government did was inhuman, uncivil and unethical .... I understand the later part but why surprised .... this is story for most aam-admi most days in their run-in with the Governing class for very basic services (that it is rightfully his/her) ... it is as if our governance is run by poorly programmed (outsourced at a sweatshop) automatons and robots.

BTW, I would imagine as a layman, somewhat intelligent of course, that the so called "intelligence inputs from IB" are probably the amongst the most unintelligent things.

Having said that I am even surprised Speed Post goes to Sopore. The last time I used it, it didn't go to many small places in the heart of India .... so Sopore on our northern fringes (and barely ours to start with) seems far fetched.

Omar's angst for a citizen of his State whether for politics, local compulsions are of course valid BUT then he is part of the system that doesn't think the "governed" are human to begin with.

Arun Maheshwari, Bangalore
Feb 11, 2013
01:18 PM

This is for domestic consumption.

Anwaar, Dallas
Feb 11, 2013
12:43 PM

This is a classic case of political incitement of actually to do what they are saying may happen or will lead to such  and such a situation. By being a weak leader he has already alienated few from india, These kashimri leaders were more separatists than anything else and india simply supporting the separatists does not help our cause neither kashmiris cause. kashmiri will keep suffering until these separatists are thrown back to pakistan where they want to go.

Indian, Bangalore
Feb 11, 2013
11:26 AM

Outlook India ; Omar Questions Centre's Handling of Afzal's Family
New Delhi | Feb 10, 2013

The GOI was well within its right to withhold information regarding Afzal Guru’s hanging from his family due to possible law &order and security implications in Kashmir. The government would have certainly obtained intelligence input from IB about the ground realities in the state and the possibility of infiltration by the ISI- trained terrorists. However, sending the news through ‘speed post’,was inhuman, uncivil and unethical.The union Home Secretary,usually inarticulate, lacked maturity and experience in handling an emotive and sensitive issue.The political class displaying first class confusion,failed to guide the bureaucracy.Thisis bound to have far reaching implications on the state of affair in J&K ,in the long run.

A K SAXENA (A retired civil servant)

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