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PoliticsIndia2001 parliament attack: Terror apologists hurt India too

2001 parliament attack: Terror apologists hurt India too

Until parliament attack accused Afzal Guru was hanged, communists and Muslims held rallies, conducted seminars and wrote articles, calling the trial farcical

President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others have paid tributes to martyrs of the 2001 terrorist attack on the parliament house that brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war.

“I pay homage to the brave security personnel who laid down their lives on this day in 2001, defending the Parliament of the world’s largest democracy against a dastardly terrorist attack. The nation shall forever remain grateful to them for their supreme sacrifice,” Kovind tweeted.

On 13 December 2001, five terrorists of two Pakistan-based outfits — Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) — infiltrated the Parliament complex and opened fire, killing nine.

The terrorists were armed with AK47 rifles, grenade launchers, pistols and grenades.

The speeding white Ambassador car drove past the main gate of the parliament house and drove into then-Vice-President Krishan Kant’s convoy.

The terrorists later stepped out of the car and began shooting.

Terrorists entered the parliament house in a car with a identity sticker to breach the security deployed around the parliamentary complex.

Constable Kamlesh Kumari of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was the first to spot the terrorists and was shot by them as she raised the alarm.

The vice-president’s guards and security personnel shot back at the terrorists and then started closing the gates of the compound.

Ironically, one of the intellectuals who had joined the bandwagon of damning the judiciary was veteran journalist MJ Akbar who went on to join the BJP, become a minister of state and briefly shine until he had to step down following an uproar over “me too” allegations against him.

Ministers and MPs inside the building, including Lal Krishna Advani and George Fernandes, were ferried to a safer location inside the Parliament which was by then put on lockdown.

All five gunmen were shot dead.

The victims included five Delhi Police personnel, constable Kamlesh Kumari, two Parliament watch and ward staff, and a gardener. A journalist who was injured died later.

Afzal Guru was subsequently arrested in connection with the attack from Jammu and Kashmir. During the trial that followed, communists and Muslims held rallies, conducted seminars and wrote articles, calling the trial farcical.

The Delhi HC upheld the death sentence by a trial court for Afzal Guru in 2003, which was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2005, but the communists and Muslims did not shut up despite the state’s adherence to the due process of the law and appellate jurisdiction.

Ironically, one of the intellectuals who had joined the bandwagon of damning the judiciary was veteran journalist MJ Akbar who went on to join the BJP, become a minister of state and briefly shine until he had to step down following an uproar over “me too” allegations against him.

Shaukat Hassan Guru, who was arrested in 2001 too, was given 10 years of rigorous imprisonment.

On 9 February 2013, Afzal Guru was hanged at Tihar Jail amid tight security.

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