Ghost Of Afzal Guru Returns To Haunt Government

1 August 2015
DNA
Ishfaq-ul-Hassan

Srinagar: Yakub Memon's funeral has reignited the demand for the return of the mortal remains of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru to his family members in the Kashmir valley. Guru was hanged and buried in the Tihar jail on February 9, 2013 after his mercy petition was rejected by the President Pranab Mukherjee. Since then the demands for the return of his mortal remains have been a rallying issue for the separatists and mainstream parties who play soft-separatist cards. 'Injustices have been meted out to us all along. But we continue to demand the mortal remains of Afzal Sahab. We shall continue raise this issue till our last breath,' Tabassum Guru, wife of Afzal Guru, told dna. Main opposition National Conference (NC), which had to pay a heavy price for the hanging of Afzal Guru by losing both Parliament and assembly elections, has jumped onto the bandwagon demanding the mortal remains of Parliament attack convict. 'How can you justify not handing over the body of Afzal Guru to his family when you handed over the body of Yakub Memon to his family? The system of justice cannot have different interpretations for different people. What justice is it to deprive a young child of the dead body of his father?' asked Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi NC Chief spokesperson. Aga said his party would continue to raise the demand of the return of Guru's mortal remains and would exhaust all possible options to pursue this cause of justice. 'NC working president Omar Abdullah had written to the then Prime Minister demanding the return of the mortal remains of Afzal Guru. National Conference has repeatedly raised this demand even on the floor of the Legislative Assembly,' he said. Architect of 'Save Afzal Guru Resolution' and president of Awami Itihaad Party (AIP) Sheikh Abdul Rashid aka Engineer Rashid said the decision to deprive the mortal remains of Guru to his family has proved that New Delhi treats Kashmir as dispute. 'Centre does not treat Kashmir as an internal part. They treat Kashmiris as second-class citizens. Kashmiris are being deprived of all their rights which other citizens enjoy. That is why they did not give body of Guru to his family. But Yakub Memon's family was given the body for last rites,' he said. Engineer Rashid's resolution seeking mortal remains of Guru was dropped by the Legislative Assembly after it was selected in the draw of lots. Engineer Rashid's earlier resolution seeking amnesty to the parliament attack convict in 2011 was put off by the then speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone who adjourned the House without tabling it for discussions following the ruckus created by the Congress and the BJP members.