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'Moderate Hurriyat favoured hanging Afzal'

Press Trust Of India
Sep 06, 2011 at 09:41am IST

Srinagar: Moderate Hurriyat Conference leaders were privately in favour of hanging Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru if he was guilty but felt that he did not get adequate representation during parts of his trial, leaked US diplomatic cables have claimed.

"While they (moderates) were concerned that Afzal did not have adequate representation during parts of his trial, privately they say that he should be executed if he is guilty," a US cable released by WikiLeaks last week said.

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The revelation comes at a time when there is a heated debate, triggered by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, about clemency for Guru, who is on the death row for his role in the 2001 Parliament attack case.

'Moderate Hurriyat favoured hanging Afzal'

The revelation comes at a time when there is a heated debate, triggered by J&K CM about clemency for Guru.

The separatist amalgam headed by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq has been seeking amnesty for Guru in their public statements.

"Moderate Hurriyat Leader told PolOff (political office) candidly that his faction of political separatists was remaining as quiet as possible about the issue because they do not feel strongly that India should pardon Afzal," the cable said.

The identity of the moderate Hurriyat leader, quoted in the cable, has, however, not been disclosed.

"If someone is a terrorist, they should meet a violent end," the diplomatic cable quoting the moderate Hurriyat leader said.

The cable was sent by 'PYATT', referring to the then US Charge d'Affaires Geoffrey Pyatt and carries the subject line "Kashmir: Pending execution causing strife for Congress New Delhi".

The moderate leader had told the US political office, the cable says, that moderate members of the Hurriyat "are unable to express this view publicly, given the mood in the valley and the threat from terrorists".

"For this reason, the moderate Hurriyat as a body has remained relatively quiet about the issue," the cable said.

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