Reiterating the demand of returning the mortal remains of Mohammad Afzal Guru to his family, National Conference Monday asked the Union Government that it shouldn’t waste much time and handover the mortal remains to his family.
In a statement issued to GNS, the party General Secretary Advocate Ali Mohammad Sagar said hanging Afzal Guru was a very unfortunate decision taken by the central government.
“Hanging Guru, at the first place was a grave mistake and unfortunate decision because it was a common notion all across the state the Guru wasn’t provided a fair trial and a fair legal support. Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and our party patron Dr Farooq Abdullah since the day one had pleaded with the central government to accept the clemency petition of the Guru on humanitarian grounds,” Sagar said.
“What was worst, was that the all other formalities were kept aside in the case of Guru, death sentences of many other inmates serving in the jails including the killers of late Indira Gandhi were converted into life sentences which speaks loud about the unfair treatment meted out to the people of Kashmir,” Sagar added.
He said while PDP was in power, Afzal Guru was indicted, convicted as well as sentenced and his legal fight started and ended during the PDP tenure.
“At that time they turned a complete blind eye towards Afzal Guru’s case. Afzal Guru was sentenced to death by the lower court in Delhi on the 18th of December, 2002. At that time Mufti Sahab was the Chief Minister of J&K and was in a coalition government with the Congress, which was also at power in the center. Neither Mufti Sahab nor PDP raised a voice at that point of time when it would have mattered. Then, between 2002 and 2005 Afzal Guru’s case was heard and taken up on various instances and Mufti Sahab was still the Chief Minister of J&K – again not a single statement was made for Afzal Guru. In 2005, the Supreme Court upheld the Death Sentence to Afzal Guru and again Mufti Sahab as the Chief Minister of J&K remained on mute mode and was silenced into submission due to his insatiable hunger for the chair,” the NC leader said.
He said that PDP while in Government did absolutely nothing to ensure fair legal support and representation to Afzal Guru despite repeated demands by civil society and legal rights groups that Guru be given just, competent and fair legal representation.
“When the PDP was in opposition they went on to ensure that the Legislative Assembly is constantly disrupted whenever there was a perception that the Afzal Guru issue might be raised and discussed. Why didn’t PDP come forward and offer legislative support to a demand to commute Afzal Guru’s death sentence to a life sentence? Again – even in opposition Mufti Sahab had a new set of compulsions – One, he was complicit in the perception that Afzal Guru didn’t get fair legal representation and Two, while in opposition PDP did not want to ruffle any feather in New Delhi that would ruin their chances of political rehabilitation,” he continued.