BJP wants firms steps against terror, execution of Afzal Guru
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday urged the Centre to impose pressure on the Pakistani Government in the fight against terror, and demanded that 2001 Parliament attack accused Afzal Guru should also be hanged like Ajmal Kasab.
"It is more than six years that Afzal Guru, the principle executor of the unfortunate attack on Parliament way back in 2001, has not been given final punishment. His appeal has been rejected, his review has been rejected, his rectification petition has been rejected by the Supreme Court. How long the government is going to wait? Punishment is an important part of deterrent in the fight against terror," said Prasad.
"We have to understand that terrorist threat remains very dangerous even today. Therefore, we have to be on vision. Afzal Guru should be hanged. The BJP demands that let there be a firm procedure of fast tracking the whole policy of pardon to those who are guilty of waging a war against India," he added.
Prasad, who was reacting on the execution of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack accused Ajmal Kasab, said 'today is the occasion to enforce the country's commitment in the fight against terror and sadly we have to note that all the handlers, all the patrons, all the conspirators of the attack on Mumbai still remain at large in Pakistan'.
Prasad, who is also the BJP's chief spokesperson, further pointed out that regardless of dozens of dossiers being given by the Government of India to Pakistan, no tangible action has been taken except 'pro forma compliance'.
"We need to recognise that all of us want a good relationship with Pakistan, but taking action against terrorists meaningfully remains the most important stumbling block. And the Government of India needs to understand that not only the victims and their families, but also the people of the country want all those who are accused and that the conspirators who executed it --those outside the establishment of Pakistan and some of them who were part of establishment --action needs to be taken against them," said Prasad.
"Only fax being sent, only goodie goodie words being sent, I think that will not be enough. Today is the occasion to reiterate the demand very firmly and the Government of India needs to become pro-active," he added.
Kasab was hanged at Pune's Yerwada Jail at 7:30 a.m. today after President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his mercy petition.
25-year-old Kasab had been lodged in the Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai ever since he was arrested immediately after the attack in 2008. He was convicted and given capital punishment by the trial court on May 6, 2010, which was upheld by the Bombay High Court on February 21, 2011.
The Supreme Court subsequently upheld the sentence on August 29 this year.
Kasab was one of the ten terrorists who travelled to India for the attack. Other nine were killed in the operation. 166 people were killed in the Mumbai terror attack.