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Afzal Guru's family counters govt's claim, says was not informed about execution


Arunima,CNN-IBN
Feb 10, 2013 at 07:03pm IST

New Delhi: A day after the Parliament attack convict was hanged inside Tihar Jail in the national capital, more questions are being raised on whether the family of Afzal Guru was deliberately kept in the dark about the government's decision. While the government has claimed to have sent the information about the execution to Guru's family in advance, his family and relatives have maintained that they got to know about the hanging from TV.

"We got to know from TV," Afzal Guru's brother said.

Union Home Ministry had claimed on Saturday that a speed post was sent to Afzal's family and then DGP of Jammu and Kashmir was asked to check if the family received the information about the hanging, "We had informed them through speed post," Minister of State for Home RPN Singh said.

But CNN-IBN has learnt that the speed post was sent on February 6 with the information that the hanging would be carried out on February 8.

Did the government seriously expect the letter to reach Sopore, Afzal's home town in just 48 hours?

Did the jail authorities wait for a confirmation from Jammu and Kashmir police that Afzal's family has been informed, before hanging him?

Government says Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, chief secretary and DGP were kept in the loop, however, Omar Abdullah claims he was informed only on February 8 at 8 pm that the hanging would be carried out in 12 hours.

But as far as the rule book is concerned government has played it smart, the jail manual says family of convict must be informed but doesn't specify if the information should go in person, by post or through any other means. It also doesn't say that jail authorities should wait for acknowledgement of information from family before carrying out the hanging.

Afzal's family has now sought permission to offer their last respects at his grave. However, sources say Afzal is buried inside the Tihar jail premises and making the exact location public could lead to a safety issue for the high security jail.

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