No decision on Guru mercy, family leaves it to Allah

Last Updated: Wed, Jun 23, 2010 11:40 hrs

/Sopore, June 22 (IANS) 'We've left it to Allah!' was the reaction of the distraught family of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru as the government is yet to take a final decision on his mercy plea pending with the president for four years.

A top source in the government said that Guru's file was still with Home Minister P. Chidambaram and has not been returned to the Rashtrapati Bhawan, denying earlier reports that the home ministry had rejected his mercy and recommended he be hanged.

'I believe the file is still with the home minister. It was there till yesterday,' said a source in the ministry.

Asked if the home minister had taken any decision on the plea, the source said 'it was unlikely'.

Rashtrapati Bhawan sources also denied having received the file from the home ministry.

The 40-year-old Guru's family in the north Kashmir's Sopore town said they also don't have any latest information about his mercy plea.

'We don't know about the development. We have no knowledge if the home ministry has taken any decision on it,' Guru's cousin, who did not want to be named, told IANS.

A published report Wednesday said the government had asked President Pratibha Patil to reject the mercy plea of Guru, who is on the death row for the 2001 parliament attack.

Confident that the government won't fast track his execution, Guru's cousin said: 'We have left it all to Allah. He is the best judge to deliver justice. We firmly believe that fate is written, and we have submitted ourselves before the will of god.'

Attempts to get in touch with Guru's wife Tabassum, who has filed the petition with the president's office, failed as she refused to talk to the media.

'Sorry, Pyari (Tabassum) cannot speak. She is not in a position to,' said the cousin, who works in a nursing home in Sopore, 50 km from Srinagar.

The cousin said that Guru had written to the home ministry seeking a quick decision on his mercy petition saying the solitary confinement of several years in New Delhi's Tihar Jail was taking its toll on him.

'He (Guru) has requested that he should be shifted to the Srinagar Central Jail if the decision on his plea will take too long. We don't even know what happened to that application,' the cousin said.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded that the Supreme Court decision on Guru's hanging 'must be immediately implemented'.

'Ultimately the home ministry has to recommend that the punishment awarded by the Supreme Court is right and it should be implemented... We demand that the president's office must reject the mercy petitio',' BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters.

Guru, a medicine and surgical instrument dealer from Jammu and Kashmir, was given the death penalty in 2002 on charges of hatching the conspiracy.

His sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2005. The sentence was scheduled to be carried out Oct 20, 2006. But his execution was stayed after his wife sought clemency.

The petition is 28th in a list of mercy applications before Patil.

As per the procedures, the president had sought the views of the home ministry, which in turn asked the Delhi government to give its views.

The Delhi government earlier this month returned the file to the home ministry favouring the hanging but asked it to take into consideration any possible law and order problem.

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