Monday, December 15, 2008


"The incident, which resulted in heavy casualties, had shaken the entire nation and the collective conscience of the society will only be satisfied if capital punishment is awarded to the offender."

- Indian Supreme Court, Aug 5th 2005, sentencing Mohammad Afzal to hang for his part in the 2001 attack on India's parliament.

India's Shame - "... three years later, the trial court sentenced Geelani, Shaukat and Afzal to death. Afsan Guru was sentenced to five years of "rigorous imprisonment". On appeal, the high court subsequently acquitted Geelani and Afsan, but upheld Shaukat's and Afzal's death sentence. Eventually, the supreme court upheld the acquittals and reduced Shaukat's punishment to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment. However, it not just confirmed, but enhanced Mohammad Afzal's sentence. He was given three life sentences and a double death sentence. In its judgment on August 5 2005, the supreme court admitted that the evidence against Afzal was only circumstantial, and that there was no evidence that he belonged to any terrorist group or organisation. But it went on to endorse what can only be described as lynch law ..."

Amnesty International - "... In the following days four Kashmiris, Mohammad Afzal, Syed Abdur Rahman Geelani, an Arabic lecturer in a New Delhi college, Shaukat Hussain Guru and his wife, Afsan Guru, were arrested. They were charged with conspiring, planning and abetting the attack under the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) ... On 18 December 2002 all four received death sentences. Afsan Guru was sentenced to five years’ rigorous imprisonment. All were sentenced by a special court designated under the POTA ...which was repealed by the Government of India in September 2004 on the grounds that it had been misused ... In October 2003 the Delhi High Court heard the appeal against the convictions and acquitted Syed Geelani and Afsan Guru of all charges for lack of evidence, while confirming the other death sentences. On 4 August 2005 the Supreme Court upheld the verdict of the Delhi High Court, acquitting both Afsan Guru and Syed Geelani and modifying the death sentence imposed on Shaukat Hussain Guru to ten years of rigorous imprisonment. They confirmed the death sentence on Mohammad Afzal under the Indian Penal Code ..."

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