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Those questioning execution timing ‘frustrated’: Jaiswal

Hitting out at the opposition, Union coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on Sunday said those questioning the timing of execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru were ‘frustrated’.

‘Law and democracy are supreme in India. Law has taken its course. Such comments are made by those who are frustrated,’ Jaiswal  said when asked about comments questioning the timing of the execution.

‘When the due procedure of law was completed, Guru was hanged. There is no place for terrorism in our country,’ the union minister said.

Mohammed Afzal Guru, convicted of involvement in the audacious attack on Parliament in 2001, was hanged on Saturday and buried in Delhi’s Tihar Jail, six days after a mercy plea was rejected by the President.

When asked for comments on sadhus at the ongoing Maha Kumbh in Allahabad rooting for Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as prime ministerial candidate, Jaiswal said, ‘The Maha Kumbh is a religious place and those indulging in politics at a holy place are dirtying it’.

He said those disturbing the peace at the Kumbh would be dealt with severely.

On being asked whether general elections would be a Modi v/s Rahul affair, he said it was too soon to comment.

Speaking at an event organised here to promote Hindi language, Jaiswal said Hindi films and media had played an important role in making the language popular.

‘Hindi films and media have played a big role in making the language popular across the world,’ he said.

‘Thanks to Hindi films, many people the world over are trying to learn and understand the language. This is a source of great pride for us,’ he said.


RIGHTS GROUPS DEMAND INDIA END EXECUTIONS


In the wake of the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, global rights groups have asked India to end the use of executions and move towards abolishing the death penalty. ‘Questions need to be asked why the Indian government executed Afzal Guru now,’ New York-based Human Rights Watch’s South Asia director Meenakshi Ganguly said. ‘No one argues that those who engage in serious crimes shouldn’t be punished, but the death penalty is brutal and irreversible, and there is no convincing evidence to suggest it serves as a deterrent,’ Ganguly said.


AFZAL HANGING DENTS BJP’S ANTI-CONGRESS PLANK, SAY LEADERS


The hanging of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru has nullified the BJP’s tirade against the Congress and indicated that the party was not soft on terror and did not appease minorities, said party leaders on Sunday.

‘The BJP’s charges against us won’t stand now. The BJP used to criticise the Congress on its handling of terrorism. But its own government could not take the decision,’ said a senior Congress leader who did not wish to be named.

According to party sources, the move will also help the Congress counter the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the runup to the 2014 general elections, especially Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, who is seen as the main contender for the party’s prime ministerial nominee in the next Lok Sabha polls.

A belligerent BJP, which vowed not to allow the parliament to run till Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde apologised for his controversial ‘Hindu terror’ remark, suddenly finds itself groping for a political issue to corner the government after Afzal Guru’s hanging.

Shinde is leader of the House in the Lok Sabha.

The BJP had been attacking the Congress demanding Guru’s hanging to score political points over the past years.

Now, the Congress can embarrass the BJP on the release of three terrorists in an Indian Airlines plane hijack in December 1999, said a senior leader.

‘People will judge BJP by what it says and does. The government has to be responsive all the time,’ said another senior Congress leader. (IANS)
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