BJP warns Congress about Afzal Clemency

via PTI published on October 5, 2006

New Delhi:The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday warned the Congress-led Centre of public outrage if it recommended clemency for Mohammed Afzal, and sought an apology from Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad over his mercy calls for the death-row Parliament attack convict.

“The nation stands shocked to see a chief minister making such a plea for a terrorist. Those who are asking for his pardon should actually apologise to the nation for insulting security personnel who laid down their lives fighting those terrorists,” BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said.

He insisted there would be a stronger public reaction in the rest of the country than the protests in the Kashmir Valley against death sentence for Afzal in case the Centre recommended clemency for him.

“The Congress is being soft towards terrorism and sympathetic towards terrorists. But the government must understand that there will be a stronger public reaction elsewhere if it surrenders to the mercy calls,” Javadekar said.

He described the mercy pleas for Afzal, sentenced to death in connection with the 2001 Parliament attack, as an interference with a judicial verdict.

His comments came in the wake of Afzal’s wife filing a mercy petition with President A P J Abdul Kalam to save her husband from execution.

The BJP leader, whose party has been seeking re-introduction of a Prevention of Terrorist Act type law, cited methods used in Punjab and Chechnya during unrest there as a solution to terrorism.

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