Rethink death punishment: Activists

Human rights activists Saturday urged the government to reconsider death penalty and said the hanging of Afzal Guru could have been handled better.

"I am one of those who are against death penalty irrespective of who is hanged," former Delhi High Court chief justice judge Rajinder Sachar told IANS.

"There should have been a decency about (today's hanging)," he said. "He was not like Kasab (26/11 Mumbai attack convict)...He was an Indian.

"The Congress seemed to have made up its mind earlier. You fix a day, let his family see him... He had his family," he said.

Suhas Chakma, director of the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR), too urged the central government to have a rethink on capital punishment and wondered if Afzal Guru's hanging had made India more secure.

"I think the government really ought to consider whether death penalty should continue as a punishment," Chakma told IANS.

"I do not think by hanging Afzal Guru the security of country and people has been enhanced."
Afzal Guru, convicted for his role in the attack on the Indian parliament in 2001, was hanged Saturday at the Tihar Jail here.

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