Former Chief Minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday demanded that the mortal remains of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorist Afzal Guru be handed over to his family in Kashmir.
Guru played an instrumental role in the terrorist attack on the Parliament House which took place on December 13, 2001, and involved five terrorists belonging to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). Nine people were killed in the attack.
Afzal Guru was executed on February 9, 2013, at Delhi’s Tihar Jail and his body was buried within the jail premises. Guru is survived by his wife, Tabassum, and an 18-year old son, Ghalib, who live in Tarzoo village near north Kashmir’s Sopore town.
Addressing media persons in Srinagar, Mehbooba targeted the centre and former President Pranab Mukherjee over the hanging of Afzal Guru, who was found guilty of conspiring and sheltering the terrorists who attacked the Parliament.
She said that Guru’s mercy petition, which was at serial number 28, was suddenly rejected and he was hanged.
She said the stand of PDP on Guru has not changed and late Mufti Sayeed had also asked the centre to return his mortal remains.
Mehbooba claimed that the PDP was against the hanging of Guru right from the beginning. She said that her father late Mufti Sayeed had written a letter to the then PM Manmohan Singh against the hanging of Guru.
The Kashmiri separatists had, on last Saturday, called for a shutdown in Kashmir to mark the sixth death anniversary of Guru. On Monday, Rajya Sabha member Fayaz Ahmad Mir, who belongs to PDP, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding that the mortal remains of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat, who were buried at Tihar Jail, be returned to their families.
Attacking the BJP and Governor Satya Pal Malik, Mehbooba said, “The agenda which we didn’t allow BJP to implement in J&K, that agenda is being implemented now through the Governor. The centre is playing with fire. There is a notion that they want to disempower the Muslims of the state.”
Referring to the ongoing agitation in Kargil against establishing the headquarters of the newly created divisional commissioner at Leh, Mehbooba said that people of Kargil are being pushed to the wall. Chenab Valley of Jammu will follow suit if they don’t get division status. Concerted efforts are being made to divide people over religious and cultural lines, she alleged.
Attempts are made to change Muslim majority status of J&K and we won’t let this happen, she warned.