A Perfect Day for Democracy

Revisiting the hanging of Afzal Guru

15 January 2020
Mohammad Afzal in 2002. In a 2004 letter to his lawyer, Afzal had said that months before the 2001 Parliament attack, Davinder Singh had held him in illegal custody in Kashmir and tortured him brutally.
PRAKASH SINGH / AFP / Getty Images
Mohammad Afzal in 2002. In a 2004 letter to his lawyer, Afzal had said that months before the 2001 Parliament attack, Davinder Singh had held him in illegal custody in Kashmir and tortured him brutally.
PRAKASH SINGH / AFP / Getty Images

On 11 January 2020, the Jammu and Kashmir Police forces arrested one of their own—Davinder Singh, a deputy superintendent posted in the anti-hijacking squad at the Humhama Airport in Sringar. Singh was arrested at a checkpoint in south Kashmir, while he was travelling in a car in the company of two militants of the rebel force Hizbul Mujahideen. A third man, whom the police subsequently described as an “overground worker” of the Hizbul, was also present in the car. His arrest has raised serious questions about attack on the Indian parliament on 13 December 2001 and the hanging of Mohammad Afzal, often referred to as Afzal Guru, the prime accused in the case. In a 2004 letter to his lawyer, Afzal had said that months before the Parliament attack, Singh had held him in illegal custody in Kashmir and tortured him brutally. Afzal went on to say that following his release, Singh coerced him to travel to Delhi with one of the attackers. In a 2006 interview, Davinder Singh admitted to having tortured Afzal.  In the light of his arrest, The Caravan is republishing Arundhati Roy’s essay, “A Perfect Day For Democracy,” which was first published the day after Afzal was hanged, in February 2013.

 

A PERFECT DAY FOR DEMOCRACY

Arundhati Roy is the author of the novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Her most recent book is a collection of essays, My Seditious Heart.

Keywords: Afzal Guru Kashmir human rights
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