To be or not to be

To hang him or not is the the question. Well again I will consider both sides of the coin and present my argument. Abhay Singh has argued for the capital punishment to be upheld. His arguments is that a heinous crime like the attack on the symbol of Indian democracy should be curbed with iron hands, hang Afzal!

Afzal’s crime goes beyond that line and calls for a highest deterrent punishment, which as per the Indian law, is death sentence. Don’t forget Afzal hasn’t committed an act of an individual’s murder, but that of conspiring to trespass and spill blood in the country’s supreme institution — the people’s Parliament. This is unpardonable.

Letting off Afzal will embolden those who have been misguided and supported by Islamic jehadis from across the border to wage a relentless war against India to force it to accede to their ultimate design. Granting clemency would be tantamount to giving in to the forces that have bludgeoned the nation and pushed the Valley into an endless vortex of terror and bloodletting.

I don’t endorse his views. He should be punished but not capital punishment for being a part of conspiracy. I advocate sternest of punishment for his involvement but not death. An eye for an eye and he didn’t take anyone’s eye. I do feel for the families who lost their dear ones. Many of them, mostly poor, lost their bread earners and it will not be fair on their part if Afzal is not subjected to sternest of punishment.

Fine now the other side of the coin. Is he really guilty? Inam ul Rehman has something interesting to say.

In fact, Afzal denied every aspect of his involvement in the conspiracy to which he had allegedly confessed earlier. “I had not identified any terrorist. The police told me the names of terrorists and forced me to identify.” Needless to say, Afzal also stated that the police made him sign a pre-written disclosure and confession; he also gave graphic details of the illegal procedure under which these were obtained

The defence of Mohammad Afzal, the key figure in the state-sponsored story of conspiracy, suffered the most. With great difficulty, Geelani’s defence managed to produce some witnesses; Afzal had none. He had no legal defence in the period between his arrest on December 15, 2001 and the filing of the charge sheet on May 14, 2005; in other words, no counsel had studied the complex case.

Grave, unanswered questions surround the Parliament attack case even after four judicial pronouncements. Who attacked the Parliament and what was the conspiracy? On what basis did the NDA government take the country close to a nuclear war? What was the role of the State Task Force (J&K) on surrendered militants? What was the role of the special cell of Delhi police in conducting the case?

It will be a travesty of justice to hang Mohammad Afzal without ascertaining answers to these questions. On October 20, they are not going to hang Afzal alone but with it they will also hang whatever little trust the Kashmiri people had in this judiciary; all to be hanged till death.

Lets imagine a court scene in which there is the advocate representing the state (A), the judge( J), Mohammed Afzal (M)and his so called defense lawyer (D).

J: Lets begin the proceedings (and please for God’s sake keep it short as I have already received the fax from the PM office regarding the final judgement and plus my today is my wedding anniversary…ah I even forgot the wedding gift)

As the judge was lost in thoughts A starts presenting his arguments.

A: I request the court to award death penalty to Afzal as his crime cannot be pardoned. The lives of august members of the Parliament were in danger and as he has confessed his crime,this leaves no doubt what so ever in anyone’s mind.

M: I object to this! I was forced to…..

The judge interrupts

J: Speak when you are allowed to. A, carry on.

A: I have nothing more to say. I think the court had enough of M’s plea of being guilty.

Meanwhile D brooding

D: Kaha phans gaya mai. Koi Gandhi thodi na hoo mai. Mat maare gayee thi jo zayada human rights ka josh aa gaya aur yeh case accept kar liya. I don’t even have proofs to at least save him from death penalty.

Meanwhile J also lost in thougths

J: The last time I gave pendant to my wife she didn’t like it. Damn the packing was not good so I had to buy her a new original gold necklace. Yeah but I gave that pendant to Tina……ah, Tina.

A: I am done my lord.

J: darling…Oh he is done. Has the defence anything to say ?

D: Le aa gaya number. I have nothing to add my lord. Phew…they are going to ditch me now…

M: What! Why did you take my case then? I could have argued for myself.

D: I need to find someother NGO now..Tina was telling me of some organization associated with Medha Patekar. At least I will get to interact with stars and not bearded terrorists.

(Tina is D’s wife)

J: Afzal you can speak now.

M: I am not guilty damn it! I have been intentionally dragged into this. In 1990 I was attracted to the movement led by the JKLF, like thousands of other youth. I went to Pakistan for training and stayed there for a little while. However, I was disillusioned by the differences between different groups and I did not support pro-Pakistani groups. I stayed there only three months without getting any training. I returned to Kashmir and then went to Delhi to pursue my studies. I always wanted to study and before I joined the movement I was doing my MBBS. I wanted to return to normal life and with that intention I surrendered to the BSF. The BSF Commandant refused to give me my certificate till I had motivated two others to surrender. And I motivated two other militants to surrender. I was given a certificate stating that I am a surrendered militant. You will not perhaps realise that it is very difficult to live as a surrendered militant in Kashmir but I decided to live with his family in Kashmir. In 1997 I started a small business of medicines and surgical instruments in Kashmir. And then I got married.

J: Speak to the point. No one is interested in your life history. Perhaps you can write your autobiography in jail.

M: I am coming to the point. Throughout the period that we lived in Kashmir the Indian security forces continuously harassed me and told me to spy on people they suspected of being militants. One Major Ram Mohan Roy of 22 Rashtriya Rifles tortured Afzal and gave me electric shocks in my private parts. I was humiliated and abused.

J: Eeesshhh..these general at army !! how can they be so unhuman..but they have hawt wives..they really need them

M: The Indian security forces used to regularly take me to their camps and torture him. They wanted to extract information from me. One night the Indian security forces came to our home and abused all of us and took away me to their camp; another time I was taken to the STF (State Task Force) camp Palhalan Pattan.Some days later they took me to the Humhama STF camp. In that camp the officers, DSP Vinay Gupta and DSP Darinder Singh demanded Rs one lakh. We are not a rich family and we had to sell everything, including the little gold I gave to my wife. I was kept in freezing water and petrol was put into my anus. One officer Shanti Singh hanged me upside down for hours naked and in the cold. They gave electric shocks in my penis and I had to have treatment for days.

A: Is he true? I know that the army is a butcher when it comes to handling terrorist but such an extreme torture!!

D: And the say human rights violation…damn! what more do they want? I am going to medha patekar….can’t stand all these.

D then messages Tina to stay at home tonight as he has something important to talk to her.

J: I don’t know how true these stories are Afzal but how are the relevant the case?

M: I just want to prove my innocence and how I was deliberately thrown into this chaos. I left to Delhi after all these but STF again brought me back to Kashmir. The STF told me to bring one man Mohammad to Delhi from Kashmir. I met Mohammad and one other man Tariq there at the STF camp. I did not know anything about the men and had no idea why i was being asked to do the job. And after that I was caught on charges of consipiring against the state. I was in close touch with the security agencies throughout the period starting from 1993 to at least 2000. Second, three of the people (Tariq, me, Mohammad: the mastermind, the link, the attacker), allegedly involved in the attack, originated from the STF camp itself. If Tariq was, in fact, spotted in the STF camp, how was he allowed to go un-investigated? If I had to report regularly to the STF, how could they not have known anything about the conspiracy? Would militants repose trust in someone who was in regular contact with the STF?

J: The judgement is final and binding. Hang till death!! (ah for the first time in my life I had the opportunity to break nip of the pen….as they used to do it in movies..will tell Tina tonight..she loves movies)

M: As if I care.

Next time J and D were together in courtroom was as fighting parties. Tina had applied for divorce from D.
This is based on Mohammed Afzal’s wife public appeal

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One Comment on “To be or not to be”

  1. Anand Says:

    Dear Friends ,
    Afzal should not be hang , because it is failed in killing of some dirty politician , so that give him small punishment like 2 month jail only, and when he killed some politician then give him a AWARD BHARAT RATNA . This time Criminal politician are inside the Indian Parliyament, They are misuse the Law , Please give him a chance it needs for better future of India. Please Understand my View, Thanks.

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