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

Afzal Guru

Pointing out that he was writing this letter after an agonizing fortnight that witnessed all the effort at rebuilding a relationship of trust between Kashmir and rest of the country almost evaporate into thin air, Mufti wrote that the execution of Guru ``in secrecy'' and ``very obvious unholy haste'' is not just another hugely negative reference point in Kashmir's painful history, but it could have the potential to redefine the very nature of how the people here would view their status with the union.

Expressing his anxiousness about its possible fall out on younger generations who had been struggling to come out of a nightmarish experience of life marked by blood and tragedy, he wrote that an overwhelming majority of people in the Valley and most of the secular, liberal public opinion in the country have expressed their reservations about the quality of trial Afzal received. ``While it is too late now to mention that beyong its academic and historical significance, it is the events that preceded and followed the hanging that have become such a sore point the like of which I have not witnessed in my 50 years of public life,'' he wrote.

The fact that the feeling of pain and anger did not erupt the way some had perhaps apprehended may not be construed as an absence of it, he pointed out, adding that ``I had since the very beginning pleaded for commutation of the death sentence keeping all the factors in view. But even though your government has been seeking advice on maters when things look bad as in 2010 when an all party conference was convened, you completely ignored the voices of sanity on Afzal's hanging''.

The sad facts of the run up to the hanging will unfortunately stand out for their peculiar characteristics that donot convey to Jammu Kashmir a message of being equal partners in the idea of India, much less showing any sense of accommodation or respect for the sentiments of a majority of its residents, he pointed out in his letter to the Prime Minister. Pointing out that a convict is never called out of a queue and sent to the gallows in a democracy of the size and quality of India, Mufti wrote that the people of Kashmir feel that he was hanged because the noose fitted only the neck of a man of Afzal's description and given the sad history of state's association with the union they easily relate themselves with his fate.

... contd.

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