The former alliance partners, Congress and National Conference are squarely divided on the statement of senior Congress leader and former Home Minister P Chidambaram who has said that Afzal Guru’s case was wrongly decided by the court. While the state unit of the Congress distanced itself from its leader’s statement, the National Conference rubbished the “meaningless” statement. “The decision to hang Afzal Guru was given by the Supreme Court of India. It was not a political decision,” Pradesh Congress Committee Chief G A Mir told KNS. “What P Chidambaram has said is his individual opinion. He is one of the senior most leaders of the Congress and has held man a high offices and portfolios. Whatever he has said on Afzal Guru might have been from his experience and what he would have seen officially happening then,” Mir said. Afzal Guru was hanged on February 9 in 2013 when UPA-2 led by Congress was in power in the country and the state was ruled by the National Conference and Congress coalition, led by Omar Abdullah, after Supreme Court of India convicted Guru for attacking Parliament in 2001. P Chidambaram in an interview with Economic Times has said, “I think it is possible to hold an honest opinion that the Afzal Guru case was perhaps not correctly decided by the court.” The hanging of Guru has led to many controversies and protests by Human rights groups, with the latest being holding of a cultural event by students in Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi that has set rolling ruling BJP’s position in the country. Guru’s wife, Tabassum Guru said her husband’s hanging was “murder of justice”. National Conference rubbished the statement of the Congress leader, saying that it is meaningless for Congress to cry now over hanging of Guru. “How does it make sense now when Afzal Guru has been hanged three years ago. P Chidambaram should have said this before hanging of Guru which might have saved his life,” NC General Secretary AL Muhammad Sagar told KNS. Asked that NC was leading the coalition with Congress, Sagar said, “We played our part is trying to save Afzal Guru. But we could not have dictated to the then UPA Govt led by Congress which had its own political and election considerations,” the NC leader said.
2015 Kashmir Despatch