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Afzal's Wife Finally Gets the Letter About His Execution
51 hours after Afzal Guru was hanged in Delhi's Tihar Jail, his wife finally received the official intimation today that he was being executed.

The letter, sent by the office of the Superintendent, Central Jail No.3, said Guru's mercy plea has been rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee and that his hanging was fixed for 8 AM on February nine.

The letter dated February 6, 2013, was received by Guru's wife Tabassum at 11 AM today. It said, "The petition of the convict Shri Mohd Afzal Guru s/o Habibullah has been rejected by the Honorary President of India."



"Hence the execution of Mohd Afzal Guru s/o Habibullah has been fixed for 09-02-2013 at 8 AM in Central Jail No.3. For your information and for further necessary action," the letter sent by speedpost said.

Booked from GPO New Delhi, the letter was received in Srinagar GPO on February 9, the day Guru was hanged, Chief Post Master General of Jammu and Kashmir Circle John Samuel said.

"Since Sunday is a public holiday, the letter was delivered this morning at 11 AM," Samuel said.

The letter shows the signature of G H Mohidin Ranie who received the letter with 11 AM written on it at Guru's house in Seer Jagir in Baramullah's Sopore district.

In New Delhi, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde claimed the letter was sent by speed post on February seven night and that he has a copy of the receipt.

"I have information that the family has been communicated. The letter was sent through speed post on February seven night and the action (hanging) was taken on February 9," he said.

If the family wants to visit Guru's grave, it can be considered, Shinde said, adding that he had personally told Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on February 8 night, hours before Guru's execution.

A controversy had erupted yesterday over the communication from the Centre to the family of Guru about the decision to hang him on Saturday with the family alleging they had come to know about his execution only from TV channels.

Though Union Home Secretary R K Singh had said that the family of Guru was sent a communication through speedpost, the family insisted that it has not received any such letter about Guru's hanging, raising questions as to whether there was a serious effort to inform the family.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah 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 had said.

The family of the deceased refused to talk to media on the matter, saying they were still in mourning and would not like to comment.
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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Digression

11/D-43
Feb 12, 2013
10:36 AM

Like 'the law takes its own course', the postal department too takes its own course.

K.Suresh, Bangalore
10/D-38
Feb 12, 2013
09:54 AM

 Here is interview with Afzal Guru and his version of the case

After all the lessons I learned in STF camps, which is either you and your family members get harassed constantly for resisting, or cooperate with the STF blindly, I had hardly any options left, when DSP Davinder Singh asked me to do a small job for him. That is what he told, “a small job”. He told me that I had to take one man to Delhi. I was supposed to find a rented house for him in Delhi. I was seeing the man first time, but since he did not speak Kashmiri, I suspected he was an outsider. He told his name was Mohammad [Mohammad is identified by the police as the man who led the five gunmen who attacked Parliament. All of them were killed by the security men in the attack].

When we were in Delhi, Mohammad and me used to get phone calls from Davinder Singh. I had also noticed that Mohammad used to visit many people in Delhi. After he purchased a car, he told me now I could go back and gave me Rs. 35,000 saying it was a gift. And I left to Kashmir for Eid.

When I was about to leave to Sopore from Srinagar bus stand, I was arrested and taken to Parimpora police station. They tortured me and took me to STF headquarters, and from there brought me to Delhi.

In the torture chamber of Delhi Police Special Cell, I told them everything I knew about Mohammad. But they insisted that I should say that my cousin Showkat, his wife Navjot, SAR Geelani and I were the people behind the Parliament attack. They wanted me to say this convincingly in front of media. I resisted. But I had no option than to yield when they told me my family was in their custody and threatened to kill them. I was made to sign many blank pages and was forced to talk to the media and claim responsibility for the attack by repeating what the police told me to say. When a journalist asked me about the role of SAR Geelani, I told him Geelani was innocent. ACP Rajbeer Singh shouted at me in the full media glare for talking beyond what they tutored. They were really upset when I deviated from their story, and Rajbeer Singh requested the journalists not to broadcast that part where I spoke of Geelani’s innocence.

Rajbeer Singh allowed me to talk to my wife the next day. After the call, he told me if I wanted to see them alive I had to cooperate. Accepting the charges was the only option in front of me if I wanted to see my family alive, and the Special Cell officers promised they would make my case weak so I would be released after sometime. Then they took me to various places and showed me the markets where Mohammad had purchased different things. Thus they made the evidence for the case.

Police made me a scapegoat in order to mask their failure to find out the mastermind of Parliament attack. They have fooled the people. People still don’t know whose idea was to attack Parliament. I was entrapped into the case by Special Task Force (STF) of Kashmir and implicated by Delhi Police Special Cell.

The media constantly played the tape. The police officers received awards. And I was condemned to death

Why didn’t you find legal defence?

I had no one to turn to. I did not even see my family until six months into the trial. And when I saw them, it was only for a short time in the Patiala House Court. There was no one to arrange a lawyer for me. As legal aid is a fundamental right in this country, I named four lawyers whom I wished to have defended me. But the judge, SN Dhingra, said all four refused to do the case. The lawyer whom the court chose for me began by admitting some of the most crucial documents without even asking me what the truth of the matter was. She was not doing the job properly, and finally she moved to defend another fellow accused. Then the Court appointed an amicus curie, not to defend me, but to assist court in the matter. He never met me. And he was very hostile and communal. That is my case, completely unrepresented at the crucial trial stage.

The fact of the matter is that I did not have a lawyer and in a case like this, what does not having a lawyer mean, everyone can understand. If you wanted to put me to death, what was the need for such a long legal process which to me was totally meaningless?

Do you want to make any appeal to the world?

I have no specific appeals to make. I have said whatever I wanted to say in my petition to the President of India. My simple appeal is that do not allow blind nationalism and mistaken perceptions to lead you to deny even the most fundamental rights of your fellow citizens. Let me repeat what SAR Geelani said after he was awarded death sentence at the trial court. He said, peace comes with justice. If there is no justice, there is no peace. I think that is what I want to say now. If you want to hang me, go ahead with it, but remember it would be a black spot on the judicial and political system of India.

www.caravanmagazine.in/reportage/mulakat-afzal

R. Saroja
Bombay, India
9/D-30
Feb 12, 2013
09:20 AM

I would call this an error of judgment. When Ajmal Kasab was hanged, the propagandist stooges of the governemnt in the media reported "A top secret operation executed with surgical precision"! Its just that the government started believing its own propaganda and tried to replicate the top secret operation with Guru and it backfired!

RSM, Delhi
8/D-25
Feb 12, 2013
08:19 AM

This is highly deplorable. Why could not Govt call the family to inform ? The government shows incompetence in this matter as well.

Maha
NJ, United States
7/D-22
Feb 12, 2013
07:48 AM

The officials should have established contact with Afzal's familybefore the execution and then called and informed them while the letter was on the way.

In India, the focus is on the perpetrator , there is no coverage of the victims of the murderous attack to which Mr Afzal was party to. That's shameful.

Gurudev Shorey, Houston
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