Srinagar, Aug 31: Jammu and Kahmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today stirred another hornets' nest by questioning whether a resolution by J and K assembly seeking mercy for Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on the lines of Tamil Nadu House would also generate a “muted” reaction, comments that came under sharp attack from BJP.
“If J&K assembly had passed a resolution similar to the Tamil Nadu one for Afzal Guru would the reaction have been as muted? I think not,” Omar punched on social networking site Twitter.
His controversial comments came a day after the Tamil Nadu assembly passed a unanimous resolution urging President Pratibha Patil to reconsider the mercy plea of three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case who are facing death sentence.
“Omar's remarks are unfortunate. Had the Hurriyat leaders made such a comment, it would have been understandable. A responsible CM should not have made such comments,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said in Delhi.
His party colleague Balbir Punj dubbed Omar's remarks as “shocking, irresponsible and unfortunate”. Congress chose to distance itself.
“What the CM comments on twitter is his business. Its really not for us to take cognisance of. These are sensitive issues which each state government sees and percieves on their own. We can only wait and watch.
“In a democracy, it's perfectly okay for people to voice their opinions collectively or individually. I don't think we should speculate,” Renuka Chowdhary, Congress spokesperson said.
“The Congress party does not feel the need to comment on old issues, on issues like death sentence, execution of death sentence which, as we have repeatedly said, involve a constitutional process, a legal statutory porocess and then an administrative process,” said Abhishek Singhvi, also Congress spokesperson.
“That process has gone on and is going on. There is no question of us commenting and there is also no question of us commenting upon the comments of another on that issue,” he said.
The state government apprehends trouble if Guru is hanged. The home ministry has sent the file on Guru's mercy petition to President Pratibha Patil.
Legal expert and senior lawyer K T S Tulsi said religion has no play in crime and punishment. “It has taken a political turn. That is unfortunate but the political controversy is completly irrelevant. If at all, the assasins get off the hook and their death sentence is commuted, it will be on the basis of the human rights jurisprudence of the Constitution of India,” he said.
The September 9 hanging of Rjaiv Gandhi assassination case convicts Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan, lodged in Vellore Jail, was stayed for eight weeks by the Madras High Court on Tuesday.PTI