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J&K CM seeks pardon for Afzal
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, September 29
Various political, religious and social organisations have expressed concern over the Delhi court order to hang Mohammad Afzal Gooru and have sought a reconsideration of the order.

According to a UNI report, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad met the Prime Minister in Chandigarh yesterday and sought Presidential clemency for Afzal, citing public sentiment in the valley against the verdict as reason.

Family members of Mohammad Afzal will be leaving for New Delhi on Sunday to make a mercy appeal to the President of India. They have also asked Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to look into the matter so that the order could be reconsidered.

The JKLF leader, Mohammad Yaseen Malik, is expected to visit Delhi shortly to take up the issue with intellectuals, lawyers and rights activists in this regard.

The National Conference president and MP, Mr Omar Abdullah, seeking reconsideration of the order, said even as many people had been killed and several others punished with death sentence, the Jammu and Kashmir issue could not be solved so far. “All efforts at present are being made towards the success of peace talks and restoration of peace and a cordial atmosphere,” he added.

Dr Mehboob Beigh, provincial president of the NC and MLA, has appealed to the President to intervene. He said: “The government can always intervene and save a difficult situation like this as it will have a positive effect on the aborted dialogue process with Kashmiri separatists because it is always for the stronger party to break the impasse in common interest,” he said.

Panther Party chief and MLC Bhim Singh said he had been advocating the abolition of capital punishment. He appealed to politicians and the media “to refrain from politicisation of Afzal Gooru’s case which is a legal issue and can be fought on a judicial platform.”

He appreciated the approach of Afzal’s wife for planning to seek mercy from the President.

The APHC chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, in a statement from New York expressed concern over the order and described the sentence as “inhuman” in the 21st century. He said such steps were aimed at suppressing the “ongoing movement and harassing the youth.”

The Pakistan-based convener of Hurriyat Conference, Mohammad Farooq Rehmani, condemning the sentence, alleged that “no proper legal rights were provided to him during his trial and it was an attempt of the authorities to prove that Kashmiris were terrorists.”

He appealed to rights bodies to “take notice of this illegal and motivated decision.”



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