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The Story of Mohammed Afzal

Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Looking back, one notices that Mohammed Afzal's trial in the Parliament attack case and the death sentence imposed on him almost had an air of inevitability about them. The police, lawyers and courts seem to have closely stuck to the script, but questions abound about the manner in which the investigation was carried out and the fairness with which Mohammed Afzal was defended in court.

Mohammed Afzal’s death by hanging may have closed the chapter on the 13 December 2001 Parliament attack case, but it has reopened the discussion on whether he received a fair trial and a fair sentence. It is important to emphasise that it is the hanging that has reopened the discussion because the finality of that act seems to close the possibility of finding answers to unanswered questions.

Those who take the view that there was a fair trial hold that the scrutiny of the entire judicial system was brought to bear on the case through successive appeals and a curative petition. The judicial conclusion at the end of this process remained unchanged, and therefore the matter has to be seen as settled.

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