PDP's Fayaz Mir appeals PM Modi to return mortal remains of Afzal Guru, Maqbool Bhat
Mir said there was nothing disrespectful in seeking the return of mortal remains of Guru and Bhat as in the past killers of elected prime minister were spared the gallows by commuting their death sent
SRINAGAR: The PDP Rajya Sabha MP Mir Mohammad Fayaz on Monday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and demanded the return of mortal remains of Mohammad Afzal Guru and Mohammad Maqbool Bhat, both of whom were hanged and buried secretly in Delhi's Tihar jail.
The demand for the return of Guru and Bhat's mortal remains coincides with their death anniversaries.
Guru, who was convicted for his alleged involvement in 2001 parliament attack, was secretly hanged and buried in Delhi's Tihar jail on February 11, 2013.
The JKLF founder Mohammad Maqbool Bhat was also hanged and buried in Tihar jail on February 11, 1984.
"In the remote village of Seerjageer, Sopore lies a tombstone of Afzal Guru without his mortal remains. It is awaiting the magnanimity of this country, that may one day find it right to return Guru's body to his family, which lies buried in a corner in Tihar jail," read the letter written by PDP MP to PM Modi.
"We are well beyond the academic discussion on capital punishment and whether Guru should have been sent to gallows even though he was at number 28 of list of death row prisoners, but his execution and the refusal to return his body by then incumbent government till date remains a sore misery and a dark blemish on the largest democracy in the world," it further reads.
He said his party and he is of the opinion that Guru's mortal remains should be returned to his family for proper burial. The PDP MP also urged PM to also consider returning mortal remains of Maqbool Bhat.
"How can dead bodies of two Kashmiri men, who lost their dignity in gallows, be a threat to democracy like India. Is the collective conscience of India sans the collective conscience of Kashmiris? I can say that of Government of India decides to act upon this request, the animosity of Kashmiris and their sense of alienation can be brought down by several notches," writes Mir.
He further writes that when killers of former Prime Minister were granted clemency and their death sentence commuted, it is not appalling or disrespectful to seek the return of mortal remains of two Kashmiris to their families.
"Kashmir today stands on the edge of and we cannot overlook that reality. In this troubled time, returning mortal remains of Guru and Bhat will be like a balm on old wounds that are unhealed even after so many years. This will also be in line with the religious practices of the deceased persons. It will be remembered for rest of our times as a sign of large-heartedness of a PM, who came to power with an unprecedented majority and a space is created for reconciliation and peaceful resolution of problems," added the PDP MP.