Jihadi Jokers now say ‘The death penalty is harsh’

published on April 22, 2010

Separatist groups call for strike

Khursheed Wani | Srinagar -Daily Pioneer

The separatist groups in Kashmir have reacted sharply to a Delhi court verdict awarding death penalty to three Kashmiris involved in 1996 Lajpat Nagar blast that killed 13 persons. A faction of the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, called for a shutdown against the decision and asked mosque leaders to stage peaceful protest demonstrations.

“The court verdict is against the creed of justice and impartiality. The death penalty is harsh and reflects the influence of vengeance,” an APHC statement said. The statement said Kashmiris were being persecuted through the judicial system.

The faction asked leaders of mosques to hold peaceful demonstrations in the Valley, besides urging people to observe a shutdown.

Syed Ali Geelani, who heads the rival APHC faction, said there was no hope in a “biased judiciary to deliver justice”. “We cannot expect justice from a system where judges and witnesses are partisan,” he said. Geelani has summoned his executive council on Friday to chalk out a strategy on the issue.

JKLF chief Yasin Malik — condemning the death penalty — said his group would strive to safeguard prisoners’ lives. “We have even appealed to save the life of Sarabjit Singh, an Indian convict in Pakistani jail. We will join hands with the civil society to ensure safety of Kashmiri prisoners,” Malik added.

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