Thursday, October 05, 2006

A wife pleads for justice

Tabassum guru, wife of Mohammad Afzal Guru, wrote a public appeal for justice which was published on 21st October 2004 in Kashmir Times. This is something that can send a shiver down our spine. Read this and decide for yourself, does Md. Afzal deserved to be killed?

A Wife's Appeal For Justice

Some excerpts:
Md. Afzal was a surrendered millitant. He worked as an informant to STF.
"My husband wanted to return to normal life and with that intention he surrendered to the BSF. The BSF Commandant refused to give him his certificate till he had motivated two others to surrender. And Afzal motivated two other militants to surrender. He was given a certificate stating that he was a surrendered militant. You will not perhaps realise that it is very difficult to live as a surrendered militant in Kashmir but he decided to live with his family in Kashmir. In 1997 he started a small business of medicines and surgical instruments in Kashmir. The next year we were married. He was 28 years old and I was 18 years."
Tortured by the STF and BSF
"Some days later they took him to the Humhama STF camp. In that camp the officers, DSP Vinay Gupta and DSP Darinder Singh demanded Rs one lakh. We are not a rich family and we had to sell everything, including the little gold I got on my marriage to save Afzal from the torture.

Afzal was kept in freezing water and petrol was put into his anus. One officer Shanti Singh hanged my husband upside down for hours naked and in the cold. They gave electric shocks in his penis and he had to have treatment for days."

Denied a lawyer in the lower court
"There was no one to represent Afzal in the lower court. The court appointed a lawyer who never took instructions from Afzal, or cross examined the prosecution witnesses. That lawyer was communal and showed his hatred for my husband. When my husband told Judge Dhingra that he did not want that lawyer the judge ignored him. In fact my husband went totally undefended in the trial court. When ever my husband wished to say something the judge would not hear him out and the judge showed his communal bias in open court."

A desperate plea two years ago

"I appeal to you to ensure that my husband is not condemned to death and he is ensured a fair trial. Surely your conscience will not allow you to be a party to the death of a fellow human being who has not been represented in the court and who has not had a chance to tell his story? The police have made him falsely confess before the media even before the trial started. They humiliated him, beat him, tortured him and even urinated in his mouth. I feel deep shame to talk about these things in public but circumstances have forced me. It has taken a lot of courage for me to put all this on paper but I do so for the sake of my child who is now six years old."
And finally

Will you speak out at the injustice my husband has faced? Will you speak out on my behalf? I am of course fighting for my husband's life, for the life of my son's father. But I also speak as a Kashmiri woman who is losing faith in Indian democracy and its ability to be fair to Kashmiri Muslims.


Iam myself ashamed that it took me so long to notice this, and that too when everything is over. I must apologise on behalf of the whole nation, that such a desparate cry of help from a woman, did not get absolutely any coverage in the national media.

How can the people of this country after reading this, can still ask for Afzal to be hanged? How can the whole society be a party to a murder? Can we call ourselves human after participating in this 'Samuhik Hatya'. How can an entire nation be blind in their hatred, that anybody who tries to bring out the facts or appeals for mercy generates angry comments and talks of gaddari? Is murder the only way of showing our patriotism? Are we already into an Orwellian world?

Some of my friends will dispute the authenticity of this letter. They will dismiss it as a pack of lies. They forget that Ms. Tabassum Guru takes the names of the STF officers. Has any inquiry been ordered against them? They forget that, what Ms. Tabasum Guru has written is endorsed by the entire Kashmiri population. Absolutely nobody has disputed the facts presented by her. It is common knowledge that Afzal was not allowed to choose his lawyer in the trial court. Even the STF has acknowleged that Mohammad Afzal Guru worked as a police informant.

One of my close friend who is a major in the Indian army, and was posted in Kashmir in the past says this, "Ham sab insaan hai. Yahi hamari sabse badi kamzori hai." Kya ham kabhi is insaniyat ko apni kamzori se apni takat bana paenge? Pal bhar me khata huyi, sadiyon ne sazaa payi. I wish Md. Afzal had not crossed over to Pakistan to become a millitant in 1990.


At 9:21 am, Blogger libertarian said...

anoop: he was instrumental in the killing of several Indian citizens. For that he deserves the death penalty - under the law of the land. This is the elephant in the room - no matter what other ameliorating circumstances there might be. Let's not obfuscate the central issue. To answer your question: Yes, Afzal must die.

At 1:20 pm, Anonymous Atlantean said...

"How can the people of this country after reading this, can still ask for Afzal to be hanged? "

Because the people of this country are not dumbasses who will believe whatever is said by a person who may be carrying deep prujudices.

Because the people of this country are not dumbasses who take an involved party's personal and possibly deeply prejudiced opinion for truth.

There's not a piece of evidence to show that Afzal was tortured. Even if he IS tortured, that is no reason for him to be given clemency.

Now, if she believes Afzal was tortured, then let her use her judicial powers (that she's so obviously using in asking for Presidential clemency) to take the officers who allegedly tortured her husband to court. Let her use her judicial powers to lead to a biological investigation whether Afzal's penis was given electric shocks.

The story goes that he was tortured into confession. But the problem with all you guys' argument is that Afzal himself doesnt claim he's innocent.

At 9:44 pm, Blogger Jason said...

Afzal is not innocent..

But must he be hanged?

@libertarian, @atlantean:
Will his death act as a deterrent to the others? Will it send out a message that India is a tough country and you should not mess with the Indians by crossing the borders?

If i was Afzal, i would prefer death over life imprisonment.. and i would not claim innocence coz it is blatantly evident that i am guilty.

Religious fanatics who resort to violence to propagate their ideas dont look at death as a punishment. We need to get that in our head. The Kashmir issue is closely intertwined between religious and plotical threads.

Martyrdom can have a reverse effect.
It gives birth to a more passionate and more fierce and more aware common man, ever ready to pick up the gun to fight!

At 6:50 am, Blogger Anoop Saha said...

There is a big humanitarian ground on which his death penalty can be commuted to life sentence. There are questions on the legal representation that he has received. I guess nobody is arguing that he should not be punished.

People in our country are indeed been dumbed down by various forces. The argument against afzal is since politican's are demanding his clemency, he must be MURDERED. Completely ignoring the fact that its the BJP and the hindu fundamentalists who are asking him to be hanged publicly. Are they not doing politics over it?
The other point is, she is indeed demanding enquiry against the attrocities by the STF. In our blind rage, we are giving immunity to the STF, people who have killed far more innocents than the terrorists in India.
Lastly, Afzal CLAIMS that he is innocent. We don't.

Agree entirely with your comment.


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