Met PM for return of Afzal Guru's body: Omar Abdullah

Afzal Guru

Joining the chorus with mainstream and separatist opposition parties in the Valley, the Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has asked the Centre to hand over mortal remains of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru to his family.

Pointing out that Chief Minister also asked for the return of the remains of Mohammad Maqbool Bhat, the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front leader who was hanged in Tihar Jail in 1984 following the killing of Indian High Commissioner in London, an official spokesman here tonight said that he had earlier ``strongly pleaded'' for return of Guru's family in a letter to the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on February 19. Later, during his recent meeting with Dr Singh, he again sought the mortal remains of Guru, he pointed out.

"Given the strong sentiments attached to the treatment meted out to Afzal Guru's family especially the denial of a last chance to meet their loved one before his execution and the denial of a judicial review of the case, the Chief Minister told the Prime Minister that least the Government of India can do in this matter, is to return the remains to his family,'' the spokesman pointed out.

"Recognizing the similarity between both the cases of Afzal Guru and Mohammad Maqbool Bhat, the Chief Minister also asked for the return of the remains Bhat which has been an unresolved issue and a long pending demand of his family ever since his execution in 1984,'' the spokesman said.

Both Bhat and Afzal Guru, after their hanging in Tihar Jail, were buried within the jail premises.

The mainstream opposition People's Democratic Party patron and former Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed too have in a letter to the Prime Minister sought mortal remains of Guru in accordance with the wishes of people of the state. Pointing out that a majority of people in the country too want Afzal Guru's remains returned to his family for last rites, he asked him to ``try to retrieve whatever little can be of the trust of the people in Kashmir''.

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