New Delhi, Dec 13 (IANS): As the nation on Tuesday paid tribute to the martyrs of the Dec 13 terror attack on the Indian Parliament 10 years ago, the families of victims expressed dismay over the delay in hanging Afzal Guru, the only man awarded a death penalty for the crime.
"Till the time Afzal Guru is hanged, there will be no honour for the martyrs in the Parliament attack. When the Supreme Court of India has given a death penalty to Afzal Guru, why has he not been brought to book," asked 23-year-old Bipin Adana, the son of late Delhi Police head constable Vijendra Singh who was killed in the attack. "For all the families who lost their dear ones, the main issue is Guru. Why is the traitor not being punished. This is really sad," said Adana who runs a petrol pump allotted to him as compensation by the government.
On Dec 13, 2001, five heavily armed gunmen stormed the Indian Parliament complex and opened indiscriminate fire, killing nine people instantly. The victims included five Delhi Police personnel, a woman Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) trooper, two Parliament watch and ward staff and a gardener. A journalist who was injured died later. All five terrorists were shot dead.
A year later, four accused, including Afzal Guru, were found guilty by Indian courts. Guru, who is said to be a Jaish-e-Mohammed militant, was the only accused to be awarded the death penalty. His mercy petition is pending with the president.
On Tuesday, the memory of the event came alive.
Vice President Hamid Ansari led members of both Houses of Parliament in paying tribute to martyrs on the 10th anniversary of the attack. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and other members attended a ceremony held in the parliament complex. The leaders observed a minute's silence in remembrance of the victims.
A blood donation camp was organised in Parliament by the Red Cross Society.