Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Ram Madhav on Saturday lauded the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre for hanging Afzal Guru, and said stern action must be taken against all those who are raising their voices in favour of the 2001 Parliament attack convict.
"The government has today done a very good work by hanging Afzal Guru. Afzal Guru had challenged India's supreme (legislative) body and conspired to destroy it. There has been a delay (in his hanging), but ultimately the government has taken a right decision. The entire country and its patriotic people are delighted over this decision," said Madhav.
"Some people are speaking in favour of Afzal Guru, but I believe that people of the Kashmir Valley and the entire country are welcoming this decision. And the government should act tough against all those, who attempt to stand up for a terrorist like Afzal Guru; only then can we bring these elements to an end," he added.
Chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), Syed Ali Shah Geelani, today condemned Guru's hanging, saying the latter was not involved in the 2001 Parliament attack and was also not given a chance to defend himself in connection with this case.
Geelani said Guru's hanging is a matter of sorrow and pain for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Professor S. A. R. Geelani, who was also awarded capital punishment in the Parliament attack case by the trial court but acquitted by the Supreme Court in October 2003, also lashed out at the government for hanging Guru.
He said that the decision to hang Guru is a completely biased and utterly atrocious step.
"I was also given death penalty by the trial court. The police have fabricated the evidence, forged the documents. The whole system is biased. This man, who has been systematically denied justice from day one till now, was not given the very basic right to defend himself by filling a review petition in the Supreme Court," he said.
In Srinagar, People's Democratic Party (PDP) expressed disappointment over Guru's hanging, and said the 'sensitivities' of the people of Jammu and Kashmir should have been taken into account before taking the decision.
PDP spokesman Naeem Akhtar also criticized Guru's burial inside the prison complex in New Delhi, and said that his body should have been given to the family.
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde today confirmed that Guru was hanged at 8 a.m. at Delhi's Tihar Jail. Guru was buried inside the prison complex soon after his execution.
President Pranab Mukherjee rejected Guru's mercy plea on February 3 and a final decision to hang him was taken on February 8.
Guru was convicted of conspiracy in the December 2001 attack on Parliament and was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in 2004.
On 13th December 2001, five heavily-armed gunmen stormed the Parliament complex and opened indiscriminate fire, killing nine persons.
They included five Delhi Police personnel, a woman Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) official, two Parliament watch and ward staff and a gardener.
A journalist, who was injured, died later. All five terrorists were shot dead.
Guru was arrested within hours after the attack from a bus in the national capital. (ANI)