Victims' families welcome Afzal Guru's hanging

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 09, 2013 14:40 hrs

New Delhi, Feb 9 (IANS) Families of those killed in the 2001 terror attack on Parliament House here Saturday hailed the hanging of Afzal Guru but asked why he was not executed earlier.

"We are very happy... Though this should have been done earlier, it is a welcome move," said Gautam Negi, son of parliament watch and ward staff Matbar Singh Negi who was among those killed by the terrorists.

"Afzal Guru was ultimately handed down the right punishment. We hope all politics related to the parliament attack case will now end," Negi said.

He added that he had been hoping Afzal Guru would be executed after the hanging of Mumbai terror attacks convict Ajmal Kasab Nov 21 last year.

Distributing sweets, the victims' kin hailed President Pranab Mukherjee for rejecting Afzal Guru's mercy petition.

"We are relieved now," said Avdesh, whose wife Kamlesh Yadav was killed too in the Dec 13, 2001, audacious terror attack that almost caused a war between India and Pakistan.

"We are happy that he has been hanged. It is like honouring us though the government should have not delayed his hanging," said Bipin Adana, son of Delhi Police constable Vijendra Singh.

Eighteen-year-old Nitin Mavi, a Class 12 student who lost his father Deshraj, a gardener, in that attack, said: "I would take any job but I will never join the police force. All these years I have seen my mother trying to make ends meet. But today I'm happy for Afzal Guru death."

Sunita, widow of cameraperson Vikram Bisht, said: "It is a day of great happiness for me. I remember (my husband) every day. Whenever I face any difficulty, I am reminded of him. Afzal Guru's hanging has brought us relief."

Maninderjit Singh Bitta, former chief of the Indian Youth Congress who survived an assassination bid in the mid-1990s and now heads the All India Anti-Terrorist Front, demanded setting up of an anti-terrorist military court to deal with terrorists like Afzal Guru.

"A separate anti-terrorist military court should be formed with no political influence," Bitta said.

"The families of slain victims of the parliament attack will write to President Pranab Mukherjee to get back their bravery awards, which they had returned eight years ago to then president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam," Bitta said.

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