New Delhi: The sensational execution of Afzal Guru, who was secretly hanged in Tihar Jail here on Saturday, has sparked a fresh controversy after his family claimed of not being informed about the government’s secret decision.
Afzal's cousin, Mohammad Yaseen Guru, told NDTV that they got wind about the hanging only from the media. "We were not informed by the government. We learnt about the execution through a news channel," he said.
"At least on humanitarian grounds, the family should have been allowed to speak to Afzal Guru or meet him and find out if he had any last wishes. It's really unfortunate," Mohammad Yaseen said.
Contrary to this claim, the government said they had informed Afzal's family about his execution. "The authorities intimated the family through speed post and registered post," MoS for Home RPN Singh told the media, adding that "the Director General of J&K Police has been told to check whether they got it or not."
Afzal's family have slammed the government’s claim of prior notification ahead of his execution. Mohammad Yaseen asked the government for proof. "If they sent a letter, please show us the receipt," he said.
This has a raised questions on the credibility of the government's claims that the family had been informed ahead of the execution.
Afzal Guru's family has demanded that his body be handed over for the last rites. His wife Tabassum, through his lawyer ND Pancholi, has requested the Tihar Jail Director General for permission to perform his last rites in accordance with religious traditions.
Afzal Guru was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court for the attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001, when five terrorists drove into the complex and opened fire, killing nine people. The five terrorists were shot dead. Last week, President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his mercy petition.