Return Afzalís body to family, Mufti writes to PM

PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Tuesday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding the return of Afzal Guru's body to 'retrieve little trust' of the people of Kashmir.

Immediately after Mufti's statement on the letter, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted that he has already sent a letter to the PM in this regard.

"I hoped to avoid playing politics with the body of Afzal Guru but that seems to be impossible to avoid with the Mufti Sayeed letter now. I had written to Prime Minister on 19th... for return of body of both Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat. I followed this up with a meeting with the Prime Minister to make the request in person a few days ago," he tweeted.

In his single page letter, Mufti requested the PM to take necessary measures to accommodate the wishes of the people of the state to have Afzal's remains returned to his family for last rites.

"This will help to retrieve whatever little can be of the trust of the people in Kashmir. It would also reduce the pain of his family and perhaps open the way for some rebuilding of bridges at the psychological level between Kashmir and rest of the country,'' he wrote.

He criticised the way Afzal was hanged inside the Tihar jail. "The manner in which Mohammad Afzal Guru was executed in secrecy and very obvious unholy haste is not just another hugely negative reference point in our painful history but it could have the potential to redefine the very nature of how the people here would view their status within the Union," read the letter.

Mufti questioned the way Afzal was taken out from the list of persons being awarded death sentence. "Never in a democracy of our size and quality is a convict culled out of a queue from serial number 28 and sent to the gallows. Never is a dying convict denied a last meeting with his family and a last chance to seek judicial intervention after spending 12 years in jail," he added.

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