Mumbai, Feb 9 (IANS) The ruling and opposition parties in Maharashtra came together Saturday and welcomed the execution of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
"An attack against the nation would not be tolerated and hence the perpetrator of the attack will have to be prepared for the highest order of punishment. Afzal Guru's hanging has spelt out the message loud and clear," Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said.
"With the execution of Afzal Guru, we have proved that we will not tolerate any attack on the pride of our nation," state Home Minister R.R. Patil said.
The opposition also welcomed Afzal Guru's hanging, and said that it takes a lot of courage to take such a step.
"Even though the government took a long time to take a decision, we are glad they finally obliged keeping in the mind the sentiments of the people," Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said.
However, Raut lamented that a terrorist like Afzal Guru was kept alive for over a decade at the tax payers' expense. "This is a greater crime," Raut said.
Expressing his satisfaction over Afzal Guru's execution, BJP leader Gopinath Munde said the government showed courage in hanging him.
"An attack on parliament was a challenge to our sovereignty. Very harsh punishment without mercy should be given to terrorists. With the execution of Guru, nobody will dare to do so again," he said.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) also welcomed the move, stating that it was better late than never.
"The move was part of vote bank politics to neutralise the aggressive campaigning by the BJP, especially by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi," said MNS vice president Vageesh Saraswat.