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Demand to announce date of Afzal Guru hanging on Parliament attack anniversary.

New Delhi, Dec. 14 -- On the eleventh anniversary of Parliament attack on Thursday, the opposition BJP said the government should announce the date for hanging convict Afzal Guru today itself to pay "real tribute" to the martyrs of the strike.

"Real tribute would be only if the Home Minister assures today that we have paid tributes to the martyrs but their families and country will get relief only when he (Guru) would be hanged.

"If they fix a date (for hanging Guru) and announce it today, this would be the real tribute to these martyrs," the leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said inside Parliament House complex. She was talking to reporters soon after paying homage to the nine martyrs of the 2001 Parliament attack.

Swaraj said every year the country pays homage to these martyrs. "But one question is still unanswered that the attacker who has been twice or thrice sentenced to death by the Supreme Court, why has he not been hanged so far?" She said after the hanging of 26/11 Mumbai terror convict Ajmal Kasab, "hope has increased that the government will show courage to do what it has not done so far."

Minister of state for home RPN Singh criticised Swaraj for making the demand, saying the occasion should not be politicised. "We have just paid tributes to those martyrs. I think it is extremely unfortunate that the moment we get away from there, we get into politics... I think to politicise this thing on every December 13, is not paying real homage to martyrs of this country," he said.

Singh said matters related to hanging convicts are not dealt by Parliament and are handled by the courts.

"There is a process that has been explained by Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. He has said the file is lying with him and he will look at it and make notings after the Parliament session," he said.

Parliamentarians led by Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Thursday paid homage to martyrs on the 11th anniversary of the attack on Parliament. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi,, BJP leader L K Advani, leaders of opposition in the Lok Sabha in the Rajya Sabha, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley respectively and other members attended a solemn ceremony held in the premises of Parliament. They observed a silence for a while in remembrance of the martyrs.

On December 13, 2001, five heavily-armed gunmen stormed the Parliament complex and opened indiscriminate fire, killing nine persons. The martyrs 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. A year later, four accused, including Afzal Guru, were arrested for the attack and found guilty after a trial. Guru has been sentenced to death in the case.

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Publication:Asian Tribune (India)
Date:Dec 14, 2012
Words:522
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