Jammu, Feb 26: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the return of the remains of executed terror convicts Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat and also raised the demand at a meeting, the state government said Tuesday.
The disclosure followed the release of a letter written by People’s Democratic Party chief and former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to the prime minister seeking Guru’s body be returned to his family.
“In a letter to the prime minister, on Feb 19, Omar Abdullah had strongly pleaded, handing over the mortal remains of Afzal Guru to his family,” the state government spokesman said, adding that in a recent meeting with the prime minister Abdullah had reiterated the demand of Afzal Guru’s family.
The spokesman said that “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”, Abdullah told the prime minister that the least the government can do in this matter is to return the remains to his family.
He said that recognizing the similarity between both cases of Afzal Guru and Mohammad Maqbool Bhat, Abdullah also asked for return of the remains of Bhat. It has been an unresolved issue and a long pending demand of his family ever since his execution in 1984.
Parliament attack convict Guru, hailing from north Kashmir’s Sopore district, was hanged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail Feb 9. Bhat, the founder of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, was hanged in the same jail in February 1984 following conviction on charges of killing an Indian intelligence agent.