Sharjeel Imam's aide was yet again found advocating for Afzal Guru, the convict in the 2001 Parliament attack. Afreen Fatima, a friend of Imam and a JNU Councillor sharing a media report appealed to 'revisit' Afzal Guru's verdict 'again and again.'
On Twitter, she wrote, "Revisit, again and again. Read the verdict, again and again. Never forget." A week ago, Afreen Fatima made headlines for backing Afzal Guru in a video shared by the BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra. In the video, she was heard calling the 2001 Parliament attack convict "an innocent man".
She can also be heard backing former JNU student and Shaheen Bagh protest organiser Sharjeel Imam. Fatima's support for Imam comes even after he came under the scanner over his "cut off Assam" seditious remark. Imam was arrested on January 28 for making allegedly inflammatory speeches at the Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi and in Aligarh. Complaints were registered against him in Delhi, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, and Uttar Pradesh -20 teams were deployed by the Uttar Pradesh police itself to track him down. While BJP, Shiv Sena, AAP, and several others have slammed Sharjeel's remarks, several have questioned the sedition case filed against him.
The 2001 Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru was executed on February 9, 2013, later buried in Tihar jail. The Supreme Court had awarded him a death sentence in 2004, for plotting the 2001 terror attack, however, his hanging scheduled for October 2006, was delayed after his wife filed a mercy petition. Nine people were killed on December 13, 2001, Parliament attack, as five heavily-armed terrorists drove into the Parliament complex and opened fire in the area. The terrorists were shot dead by security personnel.
Soon after, Afzal Guru was arrested and convicted along with Shaukat Hussain, Afshan Guru (Shaukat's wife) and Delhi University teacher SAR Geelani for being a part of the plot. The Supreme Court confirmed Afzal Guru's death sentence in 2004 while Shaukat Guru was released after he served his jail term. Afshan Guru and SAR Geelani were given benefit of doubt and released by the Supreme Court. Guru had confessed his role in plotting the terror attack to Delhi Police Special Cell ACP Rajbir Singh.
Upholding the decision to hang Guru, the apex court pronounced the verdict saying, "The gravity of the crime is something which cannot be described in words. The incident, which resulted in heavy casualties, had shaken the entire nation and the collective conscience of the society will only be satisfied if capital punishment is awarded to the offender. The challenge to the unity, integrity, and sovereignty of India can only be compensated by giving the maximum punishment. The appellant, who is a surrendered militant and who was bent upon repeating the acts of treason against the nation, is a menace to the society and his life should become extinct. Accordingly, we uphold the death sentence.”
The UPA government had then refused to handover Guru's body to his family members post-execution. He was buried inside the Tihar jail complex. The MHA in its statement had said that "his funeral could have been used to trigger violence and disturb peace in the Kashmir valley."