Row over Afzal Guru body set to hit Kashmir assembly, as MLA breathes fire

Afzal guru protest
An Independent MLA of Jammu and Kashmir, Engineer Rashid, has moved a resolution for the upcoming session of state assembly seeking "return of Afzal Guru's body". Rashid has also invited all the mainstream political parties for a meeting to "chalk out joint strategy to get back" Guru's body.

"I have submitted two resolutions for the upcoming assembly session. One resolution seeks return of Afzal's body and the mortal remains of Maqbool Bhat. The other seeks an end to the capital punishment," Rashid said in his first press conference after his release.

"If National Conference and PDP are serious in what they are saying, they should come forward and help us to pass this resolution".

A visibly angry Rashid accused the Congress party of "murdering" Guru to pave way for Rahul Gandhi to become the Prime Minister of India. "It was done to stop Narendra Modi (from becoming the Prime Minister). Congress has a tradition of sacrificing democracy," he said. "Kashmir can't be an 'atoot ang' (integral part) of India anymore. India has closed all the doors for it".

Rashid, who represents the Langate assembly constituency, said he has invited all the mainstream political parties for a joint meeting on Monday. "I have sent a letter to all of them," he said. "Let's meet so that we can chalk out a joint strategy to get back Afzal's body".

Seeking forgiveness from the people and Afzal's family for not able to "save him from gallows", the independent legislator said the hanging has created clear divisions between India and Kashmir. "I congratulate people for the way they have unmasked the true face of Indian democracy," he said. "Today, there is no moderate and no hardliner, no pro-Indian or anti-India. India has wiped out all these divisions. Today the state of India has lost and people of Kashmir have won".

Questioning the yardstick for measuring "collective conscience", Rashid said when 80 percent people came out to vote, New Delhi termed it as a win of democracy but why couldn't they find even a single person in Kashmir to support hanging of Afzal Guru. "What was the yardstick of measuring collective conscience," he said.

"Did you ask the hangman, who according to media reports, fell at Guru's steps before hanging him, did you ask that jailer who felt a tinge of sorrow over his hanging".

Saying the time is not far when Lalchowk would be renamed as 'Afzal Chowk', Rashid said why punishment has not been given to the soldiers responsible for killings in Kashmir.

"One lakh people have been killed in Kashmir," he said. "Could you (New Delhi) not find the murderers of those one lakh people? Why the permission for their prosecution was not granted?"

Questioning the role of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Rashid said id to maintain 'law and order' was his only job, it could have been done by police and there was no need of a government. "I am waiting for the day when Delhi would tell you (Omar) that they don't need you anymore, when Delhi will tell that they don't need these police officers whose hands are red with the blood of people," he said. "One day India will hang those police officers telling the people of Kashmir that they had killed you and they have been killed to give justice to you".

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