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New Delhi, Feb 11 (IBNS): Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Monday said the decision to execute Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was not a 'political one' but done as per law.
"This was not a political decision. It was done as per law," Shinde said while addressing a press conference on Monday.
"Like Ajmal Kasab's case, this was also extremely sensitive and the government had to be very careful," he said.
Shinde said: "If Guru's family wants to visit his grave in Tihar jail then that can be considered."
Shinde made the comments a day after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday spoke out on the execution of Guru and said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government will need to prove that the move was not a 'selective' one.
"I had a sense that Afzal Guru would be executed sooner rather than later. Generations of Kashmiris will identify with Afzal Guru. You will have to prove to the world that the death penalty is not used selectively. The onus rests on the judiciary and the political leadership to show that this wasn't a selective execution," Abdullah told CNN-IBN.
Attacking the Centre over Guru's execution, yoga guru turned anti-corruption activist Baba Ramdev on Saturday said the hanging of the 2001 Parliament attack convict now was but a political gimmick to appease the Hindu community after giving terrorism colours like saffron.
“This is vote bank politics of the government to divide the Hindus and Muslims. First they talk of Hindu terrorism and now they hang a Muslim terrorist to appease Hindus,” Baba Ramdev said at the Maha Kumbh venue in Allahabad.
India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) earlier questioned the delay in carrying out Guru's death sentence.
"The execution was delayed but is undoubtedly welcome," said BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy.
Guru was hanged at Delhi's Tihar Jail on Saturday. The execution took place at 8am and he was buried soon after at the jail, where he had been lodged for nearly eight years.
Guru's execution was initially scheduled for Oct 20, 2006. But it was stayed after Guru's wife filed a mercy petition with the President.
In December 2001, nine people were killed when five terrorists drove into the Parliament complex and opened fire. All the terrorists were shot dead.
Guru was arrested shortly after the attack and accused of planning it.