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Citizens' letter to the Hon'ble President to protest the secret execution of Afzal Guru [1 Attachment]

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  • Mansi Sharma
    *Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association* To, The Hon’ble President of India Respected Sir, We write to you in deep anguish, despair but in outrage as well.
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 13, 2013
      Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association




      The Hon’ble President of India

      Respected Sir,

      We write to you in deep anguish, despair but in outrage as well. Afzal Guru was hanged on Saturday (9th February 2013) in secrecy. We have been told – after the hanging – that you rejected the mercy petition filed by Guru’s wife Tabassum, on 3rd February. We believe that you made a grave error in rejecting the mercy petition. If you had perused the trial records and the lengthy documentation put together over the years by lawyers and civil rights activists, or even the Supreme Court judgement which sentenced Afzal to death, you would have known, that his guilt was never established beyond reasonable doubt. The fact that the Court appointed as amicus curiae (friend of the court) a lawyer in whom Afzal had expressed no faith; the fact that he went legally unrepresented from the time of his arrest till his so-called confession, the fact that the court asked him to either accept the lawyer appointed by the Court or cross examine the witness himself should surely have concerned you while considering his mercy petition.

      His personal history of being a surrendered militant, of harassment and torture at the hands of STF, as well as his statement in open court that he had indeed helped Mohammad, one of the attackers on the Parliament, find a house and obtain a car, the same car used in the attack, but at the orders of his STF handlers, should have spurred a full-scale investigation into the allegations. The citizens of this country do not know if one was ordered at all.

      It is also a fact that the much-hyped investigation of the Parliament attack case and its prosecution resulted in two full acquittals and conviction of another for concealing knowledge of the crime. It was almost as if there was a need to at least ensure one death sentence so that the faith of the public / society in the efficacy of the prosecution and the judiciary and the Legislature which represented the ‘State” would not be shaken. Surely this was not a case where even the government of the day was convinced of the guilt of Afzal; but treated it like a case that was far too important for all accused to be acquitted.  We must remind you sir that the Supreme Court threw out the confessions of both Afzal and Shaukat which obviously indicated that the investigation had been far from fair.


      As in life, Afzal Guru was denied his legal rights in his death. Sir, every convict whose mercy petition has been rejected by the President, is entitled yet to a last resort. The convict has the constitutional right to file a judicial review or a delay petition, in the High Court and the Supreme Court, to seek commutation of the death sentence. There exists veritable case law to support a condemned convict’s right to appeal on grounds that pendency of death penalty for years causes suffering and torturous anxiety. We only cite the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, which in 1988 held that “Undue long delay in execution of the sentence of death will entitle the condemned person to approach this Court under Article 32”.


      Under the law, Afzal Guru may have lived still despite your rejection of the mercy petition, had he, his family and lawyers been informed of the rejection of the mercy petition. But perhaps fearing precisely this, the state whose head you are, Sir, chose to execute him in secrecy. The killing was not a fait accompli– a natural culmination of the course of law, as it is being made out to be by the government and the media. In fact, Afzal Guru was cynically, callously and calculatedly denied access to judicial remedy that was due to him. His family was not informed, not only because our state has become unrecognizably cruel—which it has, but also because it did not want Afzal Guru to exercise his legal rights and possibly avert the execution. Informing the wife that her mercy petition had been rejected through speed post is a joke. What the state has done is not simply kill a convict. It has committed a fraud on the people by invalidating an entire body of jurisprudence and a category of rights inhering in our Constitution.

      And finally, the Indian state must explain why it displayed such urgency in executing Afzal before those others whose mercy petitions your office has earlier rejected.  


      1. Manisha Sethi, Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association
      2. Ahmed Sohaib, Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association
      3. Sanghamitra Misra, Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association
      4. Adil Mehdi, Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association
      5. Ghazi Shahnawaz, Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association
      6. Ambarien Alqadar, Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association
      7. Farah Farooqi, Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association
      8. Tanweer Fazal, Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association
      9. Yug Mohit Chaudhry, Advocate, Mumbai
      10. Vrinda Grover, Advocate, Delhi
      11. Kamini Jaiswal, Advocate, Delhi
      12. Trideep Pais, Advocate, Delhi
      13. Mayur Suresh, Advocate, Delhi
      14. Jawahar Raja, Advocate, Delhi
      15. Madhumita Dutta, Vettiver Collective, Chennai.
      16. Arvind Narrain, Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore
      17. Lawrence Liang, Alternative Law Forum
      18. Siddharth Narrain, Alternative law forum
      19. Rakesh Sharma, Filmmaker
      20. Ajay Bhardwaj, Filmmaker, Delhi
      21. Jesse Knutson, Academic, Delhi
      22. Dr. Nandini Chandra, University of Delhi
      23. Kaveri Gill, Delhi
      24. Gautam Mody, Secretary, New Trade Union Initiative
      25. Prof. Ali Javed, University of Delhi
      26. Satnam Kaur, Saheli
      27. Prof. Alok Rai, Academic, Delhi
      28. Dr. M. Vijayabaskar, Faculty, Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai.
      29. Darryl D’Monte, Mumbai
      30. Shivam Vij, Journalist, Delhi
      31. Amit Thorat, Delhi
      32. Ankur Dutta, Academic, Delhi
      33. Ritu Dewan, Delhi
      34. Venugopal Maddipati
      35. Ruhi Saith
      36. Kaushik Bhaumik, Senior Vice President, The Film House, Osian's
      37. Dr. N. Sukumar, Dept of Political Science, Delhi University
      38. Dr. Anand Teltumbde, IIT Kharagpur
      39. CN Subramaniam
      40. Shrimoyee Nandini Ghosh, Lawyer and Legal Researcher, New Delhi
      41. Khaliq Parkar, JNU
      42. Wilfred D’costa, Indian Social Action Forum – INSAF
      43. Mary E John, Academic, Delhi
      44. Aamena Ahmad
      45. Askok Choudhary, NFFPFW
      46. Hany Baby, Univ. of Delhi
      47. Jaya Menon, Academic, Aligarh Muslim University
      48. Jenny Rowena, Academic, Delhi University
      49. Mayanka Dave Mukherji, LSR College, Delhi University
      50. Nadim Asrar, Journalist, Delhi
      51. Rangnath Singh, Journalist, Delhi
      52. Dr. Shadab Bano, Academic, Academic, Aligarh Muslim University
      53. Dr. Sk Ehteshamuddin Ahmed, Academic, AMU
      54. Dr. Kaushikee, Academic, JMI
      55. Ritu Sinha, Academic, Delhi
      56. Supriya Chaudhuri
      57. Prof. Tripta Wahi, University of Delhi (Retd.)
      58. Vijay Singh, Forum for Democratic Struggle, Delhi University.
      59. Lesley A Esteves, journalist, Delhi
      60. Panini Anand, journalist, Delhi
      61. Saba Naqvi, jourmalist, Delhi
      62. Prof. Nirmalangshu Mukherjee, Department of Philosophy, University of Delhi
      63. Jawed Naqvi, journalist, Delhi
      64. Paramita Ghosh, Journalist, Delhi
      65. Ram Puniyani, All India Secular forum
      66. John Dayal, Delhi
      67. Shweta, SRUTI (Society for Rural Urban & Tribal Initiative)
      68. Subhash Ghatade, writer and activist, Delhi.
      69. Madhuresh, National Alliance for Peoples’ Movements (NAPM)
      70. Sukumar Muralidharan, journalist, Delhi
      71. Dhruva Narayan, Managing Editor, Daanish Books
      72. Ajitha GS, publishing professional, Bangalore
      73. G. Arunima Associate Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
      74. K. Saradamoni, Economist, Thiruvananthapuram
      75. Prof. Mohan Rao, Jawaharlal Nehru University
      76. Sabeena Gadihoke, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
      77. Prof. Shohini Ghosh, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
      78. Sohail Akbar, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
      79. Prof. MS Bhatt, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
      80. Dr. Neshat Quaiser, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
      81. Sabina Kidwai, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
      82. Shamya Dasgupta, journalist/writer, Bangalore
      83. Shikha Jhingan, filmmaker, Delhi
      84. Prafulla Samantara, Co-convenor, Lok shakti Abhiyan
      85. Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan, Editor Milli Gazette
      86. Nandini Sundar, Professor, Department of Sociology, DU
      87. Ashley Tellis, DU
      88. Brinda Bose, Associate Prof., Department of English, DU
      89. Neeraj Malik, Indraprastha College
      90. Javed Malick, Formerly Khalsa College
      91. Rahul Govind, Delhi University
      92. Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Raks Media Collective, Delhi
      93. Prof. Ranjani Mazumdar, Jawaharlal Nehru University
      94. Mukul Kesavan, writer and historian
      95. Arun Khote
      96. Arjumand Ara, Academic, Delhi
      97. Rakhi Sehgal, Trade Union activist, Delhi
      98. Sreenivas VP
      99. Subasri Krishnan, Independent Filmmaker, New Delhi

      100. Jairus Banaji, Professor, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

      101. Dr. Anirudh Deshpande, Department of History, University of Delhi

      102.      Prof. Amit Bhaduri, economist, Delhi.

      103.      Prof. Anand Chakravarti, Academic, Delhi

      104. Asit Das, activist, Delhi

      105. Ravi Sundaram, CSDS

      106. Trisha Gupta, writer and editor

      107. Peggy Mohan, author, Delhi

      108. Satya Sivaraman, activist and filmmaker

      109. ViBGYOR Film Collective, Thrissur

      110. Saheli, Delhi

      111. Anivar Aravind, activist, Bangalore

      112. Kavita Krishnan, AIPWA

      113. Sanjib Baruah, Professor of Political Studies, Bard College, New York; Honorary Professor, Center for Policy Research, New Delhi.

      114.  Chitra Joshi, Department of History, I.P. College, University of Delhi

      115. N. A. Jacob, Department of English, Ramjas College, University of Delhi

      116. Madhavi Zutshi, Department of English, Khalsa College, University of Delhi

      117. Rochelle Pinto, Academic, Delhi University

      118. Jonathan Gil Harris, Professor of English, George Washington University, Washington DC

      119. Madhavi Menon, Professor, Department of Literature, American University, Washington DC

      120. Rohini Hensman, Writer and Activist

      121. Tapan Bose, SAFHR, Delhi

      122. Pradeep Narayanan, Head, Research and Consultancies at Praxis Institute for Participatory Practices

      123. Ravikant, Sarai, Delhi

      124. Shivsundar, Journalist, Bangalore

      125. Dr. Malem Ningthouja, Campaign for Peace & Democracy Manipur

      126. Antara Dev Sen, Little Magazine, Delhi

      127. Mariam Shaheen, Journalist, Delhi

      128. Gauri Lankesh, Bangalore

      129. Ragini Saira, Academic, Amherst

      130. Seema Guha- Journalist, New Delhi

      131. Rajesh Sinha- Journalist- New Delhi

      132. Puneet Nicholas Yadav- Journalist, New Delhi

      133. Yadvendra Michael Yadav- Lawyer, Bhopal

      134. Sohail Hashmi, Delhi

      135. Sabiha hashmi, Art teacher, Bangalore

      136. Asad Zaidi, Publisher and writer, Delhi

      137. Meera Ahmed, Academic, Delhi

      138. Naveen Chander, New Socialist Initiative, Delhi

      139. Dr Rina Ramdev, Sri Venkateswara College, Delhi University

      140. Hemangini Gupta, PhD candidate, Emory University.

      141. Nandini Dutta, Academic, Delhi University

      142. Nalini Nayak, Academic, Delhi University

      143. Dr. Nikita Sud, Academic, University of Oxford

      144. Akhil Katyal, Academic, St Stephens college

      145. Sumi Krishna, Academic, Bangalore

      146. Soumya Dutta, Academic, Delhi University

      147. Dr. Saroj Giri, Academic, Delhi University

      148. Uma V Chandru, WSS Karnataka

      149. Ranjana Padhi, PUDR

      150. Geeta Seshu, Journalist, Mumbai

      151. Rahul Rao, SOAS

      152. Dr. PK Vijayan, Academic, Delhi University

      153. Dr. Karen Gabriel, Academic, Delhi University

      154. Biswajit Mohanty, Academic, Delhi University

      155. Nandita Narain, Delhi University

      156. Dunu Roy, Hazard Centre, Delhi

      157. Manohar Elavarthi, Praja Rajakiya Vedike, Bangalore

      158. Sameer Saran, UNHCR, Kabul

      159. Prof. Ayesha Kidwai, Jawaharlal Nehru University

      160. Prof. Achin Vanaik, Delhi University

      161. Uzair Alim, New Zealand

      162. Misha K. Alim, Chennai

      163. Kamayani Bala Mahabal, Lawyer, Activist

      164. Anita Ghai, Fellow, Teen Murti and Delhi University

      165. Kiran Saheen, Activist

      166. Rukmani Datta, Activist, Bombay

      167. Kaveri Rajaraman Indira, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

      168. Dolly Daftary, USA

      169. Badal Malick, New York

      170. Laxmi Murthy, Journalist, Bangalore

      171. Sheba George, Activist

      172. Rukmini Sen, Senior Journalist 

      173. Pankaj Jha, Delhi University

      174. Saumya Bhattacharaya, Delhi University

      175. G N Saibaba, Delhi University

      176. Roopa Dhawan, Delhi University

      177. Tara Basumatary, Delhi University

      178. Vijaya Venkataraman, Delhi University

      179. Naveen Gaur, Delhi University

      180. Abha Dev Habib, Delhi University

      181. Prof. Janaki Nair, Academic, Jawaharlal Nehru University

      182. Padmaja Shaw, Osmania University 

      183. Richa Minocha, Jan Abhiyan Sanstha, Himachal Pradesh

      184. Mahtab Alam, writer and activist, Delhi

      185. Mansi Sharma, activist, Delhi.

      186. V Suresh's, (General Secretary PUCL) 

      187. D Nagasaila's, PUCL, 

      188. Kavita Srivastava, PUCL

      189. Arati Chowksi, PUCL

      190. Sachin N, Delhi University

      191. Debjani Sengupta, Delhi University

      192. DW Karuna, Chennai

      193. Kumar Sundaram, activist, Delhi

      194. Harjeet Singh Gill, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University

      195. Raji Govind, Coimbatore

      196. Anirudddhan Vasudevan, Chennai

      197. Mahmood Farooqui, Writer, Delhi

      198. A.Suneetha, Senior Fellow, Anveshi, Hyderabad. 

      199. Saumya Uma, Consultant, Law, gender and Human Rights, Mumbai

      200. Anusha Rizvi, Filmmaker, Delhi

      201. Rajashri Dasgupta, Journalist, Kolkata

      202. Prof. Ujjwal Kumar Singh, Academic, Delhi University

      jamia teachers' solidarity association

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