Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mohammad Afzal

NEW DELHI: The mastermind behind the December 13, 2001 Parliament attack, Mohammed Afzal, will be executed on October 20.

Additional Sessions Judge Ravinder Kaur, signing the death warrant on Tuesday, directed the Tihar Jail authorities to make arrangements for hanging Afzal at 6 a.m. on that day.

Afzal was awarded the death sentence by the trial court here in 2002. The Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court later upheld it. The apex court also rejected his review petition

Four accused

There were four accused in the case — Mohammed Afzal, Shaukat Hussain, Navjot Sandhu alias Afsan Guru, wife of Shaukat Hussain, and S.A.R. Geelani, a Delhi University lecturer.

The Supreme Court had acquitted Geelani and Afsan Guru and reduced the death sentence awarded to Shaukat Hussain to 10-year imprisonment.

Five Pakistani militants, Mohammed, Haider, Hamza, Rana and Raja, attacked Parliament, but security personnel killed them.

Clinching evidence

The attack also claimed the lives of nine security personnel and caused injuries to16.

The Supreme Court had said there was clinching evidence against Afzal of his nexus with the terrorists killed in the attack.

The trial court, on December 18, 2002, awarded death for Afzal, Shaukat, and Geelani, and five-years imprisonment to Afsan Guru.

High Court sentence

The Delhi High Court, on October 29, 2003, upheld the sentence awarded to Afzal and Shaukat under Sections 302 (murder), 121 (waging war against the nation) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 (2) and 4 of Prevention of Terrorism Act, but acquitted Geelani and Afsan Guru. While Afzal and Shaukat filed appeals in the Supreme Court against the death sentence, the Delhi Police appealed against the acquittal of Geelani and Afsan Guru.

2001 Indian Parliament attack
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
New Delhi, India
December 13, 2001 (UTC+5.5)
Attack type
7 (and 5 militants)
Kashmiri militants
Terrorism in India (2001–2007)
Indian Parliament – 1st MumbaiAyodhyaDelhiVaranasiJama Masjid2nd MumbaiMalegaonSamjhauta ExpressMecca MasjidHyderabad
The 2001 Indian Parliament attack was a high-profile attack by Pakistan based Kashmiri militants against the building housing the Parliament of India in New Delhi. The attack lead to the killing of a dozen people [1] and led to increased tensions between India and Pakistan and the 2001-2002 India-Pakistan standoff.

The attack
On December 13, 2001, five gunmen infiltrated the Parliament House in a car with Home Ministry and Parliament labels. [2] While both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha had been adjourned forty minutes prior to the incident, many Members of Parliament (MPs) and government officials such as Home Minister LK Advani and Minister of State (Defence) Harin Pathak were believed to have still been in the building at the time of the attack.[1] (Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Opposition Leader Sonia Gandhi had already left). The gunmen slammed their vehicle into the car of the Indian Vice President Krishan Kant (who was in the building at the time), got out, and began firing their weapons. The Vice President's guards and security personnel shot back at the terrorists and then started closing the gates of the compound. The lady constable Kamlesh Kumari was first to spot the terrorist squad. One gunman, wearing a suicide vest, was shot dead, the vest exploding. The other four gunmen were also killed. Five policemen, a Parliament security guard, and a gardener were killed, and 18 others were injured. [3] No members of the government were hurt.

World leaders and leaders in India's immediate neighbourhood condemned the attack on the Parliament. On December 14, the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) blamed Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed for the attack. Home Minister LK Advani claimed, "[w]e have received some clues about yesterday's incident, which shows that a neighbouring country, and some terrorist organisations active there behind it"[4], in an indirect reference to Pakistan and Pakistan-based terrorist groups. The same day, in a demarche to Pakistani High Commissioner to India Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, India demanded that Pakistan stop the activities of LeT and JeM, that Pakistan apprehend the organisations' leaders and that Pakistan curb the financial assets and the groups access to these assets.[5] In response to the Indian government's statements, Pakistani forces were put on high alert the same day. Pakistan military spokesman Major-General Rashid Qureshi claimed that the Parliament attack was a "drama staged by Indian intelligence agencies to defame the freedom struggle in occupied Kashmir" and further warned that India would pay "heavily if they engage in any misadventure".[6] On December 20, India mobilised and deployed its troops to Kashmir and Punjab in what was India's largest military mobilization since the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War amid calls from the United States and the United Nations (UN) on India to exercise restraint.
Following the attack, many suspects were arrested, and in December 2002 four Jaish-e-Mohammed members were convicted for roles in the attack. [7] In 2003, India said its forces had killed the mastermind of the attack in Kashmir. [8]
Mohammad Afzal who is convicted of being part of conspiracy is now sentenced to death by Indian court. He was to be hanged on October 20'th but the sentence has been stayed. His family had camped in New Delhi to meet the then President Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam to accept the mercy petition. Also the family of Kamlesh Kumari, a CRPF Jawan (Indian infrantry foot soldier) who died in the attack has said that they will return the Ashok Chakra awarded to her, if the president accepts the petition, but it is unclear if it had been done so.

^ a b "Terrorists attack Parliament; five intruders, six cops killed". 2006. Rediff India. 13 Dec. 2001
^ 'The terrorists had the home ministry and special Parliament label'. 2006. Rediff India. 13 Dec. 2001
^ Press Release on the attack
^ "Parliament attack: Advani points towards neighbouring country". 2006. Rediff India. 14 Dec. 2001
^ "Govt blames LeT for Parliament attack, asks Pak to restrain terrorist outfits". 2006. Rediff India. 14 Dec. 2001
^ "Pakistan and its highly mobile and powerful forces were put on high alert: Storming of parliament". 2006. Dawn. Dawn Group of Newspapers. 15 Dec. 2001
^ 4 convicted in attack