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Life in jail worse than death: Afzal Guru

New Delhi: Afzal Guru, who has been given the death sentence for his role on the terrorist attack on Parliament, has filed an application before the Supreme Court and sought an early decision on his plea for clemency.

Afzal’s lawyer N D Pancholi told PTI his client’s clemency plea has been pending with the government for four years and that is why he filed an application before the Supreme Court in March.

Pancholi said Afzal, who is imprisoned in Delhi’s Tihar jail, had told him in their last meeting that what he was “facing now is worse than death”.

Afzal said he was “fed up with the solitary confinement” and the “delay” in deciding on his mercy petition, Pancholi said.

Pancholi said Afzal sent his application through Tihar jail officials in March after his first plea in January was returned asking him to approach through the proper channel.

“Afzal’s contention is that he is sentenced to death and not solitary confinement. He has said the delay was not helping him and a decision should be taken as soon as possible,” said Pancholi, who claimed his client was very “disturbed” at the delay over his clemency plea.

“He is saying it is better that he is hanged. He is saying he be hanged and he is ready for that. For him, solitary confinement is not helping him,” Pancholi said.

Afzal has also requested that he be shifted to a jail in Jammu and Kashmir, his home, so that it is easier for his family to meet him. His mercy petition has come into limelight following the 16th reminder sent by Union Home Ministry to Delhi government asking it to sent its response on his petition.

The death sentence was upheld by Delhi High Court on October 29, 2003 and his appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court two years later on August four, 2005.

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