Let me tell you first it is not just the JNU students who feel the death penalty against Afzal was not justified but many others including many civil rights activists and lawyers. The people of India were shown only one side of the coin and I am sorry to say that people are not keen on finding out what really is happening. You can see that in case of JNU. You see people complaining against the JNU student that they are studying from the tax payers’ money, but they don’t want to see behind the curtains or even if they see the truth they still have some vested interest not to disclose the truth.
Starting with Afzal Guru, he was an Indian citizen who grew up in Kashmir during all the atrocities and conflict there. The army from both side (India and Pakistan) were accused of harassment, violence and even rape. The youth including Afzal grew up with seeing this and much more. According to him he wanted to become a doctor and he had taken admission too in MBBS. During which the movement escalated for freedom of Kashmir. Which led him to Pakistan where he saw the same that he saw in India. Pakistan had it’s own interest in taking up the land of Kashmir but wasn’t interested in freeing it. So because of this conflict in his mind, he surrendered to the Indian army. He surrendered because of his ideologies. He wanted freedom for his people not violence.
Then he says Indian army wanted him to become informer for the Indian army. Which he didn’t agree with. Maybe because it was against his principles to betray his peers. Because of which the Indian army beat him and tortured him including electrocuting his genitals. His wife and son had to endure this pain that he was suffering. He was in hospital for recovery for over a month. He later agreed to work with the Special Task Force (STF) of Kashmir, whether due to pressure or threat only he knows. It is said he was given instructions to accompany and help some people in order to get intel from them. Therefore he accompanied them and helped them to get to Delhi. The irony here is neither the police knew or STF knew the motive of those people nor did Afzal (according to his statement). So indirectly the police made the job of these militants easier via Afzal. But there is no police record of this. Whether there was no such incident or whether this was the truth and the records were deliberately erased, only the people involved know and it might never get disclosed. When the group arrived at Delhi those five attacked the parliament and died.