Afzal hanging barbaric act: NHRC member

A member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has termed the secret hanging of Afzal Guru a violation of human rights by the government, saying it was a “barbaric act” to hang the 2001 Parliament attack convict without letting his family members meet him before the execution.

“It was a barbaric act to hang (Afzal) without informing his family members properly. It was a complete violation of human rights by the state. The convict’s family members had rights to meet him (before the hanging) and perform the last rite. If denied, it is not only violations of the rights of the man hanged but also his family members,” NHRC member Satyabrata Pal, a former diplomat, said.

He, however, immediately clarified that it was his personal view. The NHRC has not taken any view on the issue so far. Pal’s suggestion came after his opinion was sought on the issue during an informal interaction with him here on Tuesday.

“There is a question of common decency of letting the family members meet the person to be hanged,” Pal said.

The NHRC member’s view on the issue assumes significance as government has been facing strong criticism from various quarters over the way Afzal was hanged.

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