Omar Abdullah

Chief minister Omar Abdullah’s remarks on twitter, calling for mercy to the parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, came under sharp criticism from BJP.

Omar had wondered if resolution by J&K Assembly calling for a mercy for Afzal Guru on the lines of Tamil Nadu House would generate a “muted” response. “If J&K Assembly had passed a resolution similar to the Tamil Nadu one for Afzal Guru, would the reaction have been as muted? I think not,” Omar wrote on social networking site Twitter. Known for making controversial comments on twitter, his comments came a day after the Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a unanimous resolution urging President Pratibha Patil to reconsider the mercy plea of three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case who are facing death sentence.

While congress distanced itself from Omar’s remarks, it ruffled many feathers in BJP and evoked sharp reactions from the party.  “Omar’s remarks are unfortunate. Had the Hurriyat leaders made such a comment, it would have been understandable. A responsible CM should not have made such comments,” said BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain. After his comments created uproar, Omar blamed media for making a story out of nothing. “I should remember that the channels will make a story out of just about anything and that will teach me to shut up,” he tweeted again after his criticism.

Omar’s remarks gain significance as the independent MLA from Langate, Engineer Rashid has submitted a resolution to the assembly secretariat seeking amnesty for Guru on the lines of Tamil Nadu assembly resolution. However, BJP is all set to oppose any move to save Guru. S S Manhas, J&K state BJP chief, said that Guru is a traitor. “He has committed a crime and he needs to be punished according to the court verdict. We will oppose any resolution in this regard,” he said.

Hurriyat came up with a guarded response to Omar’s remarks on Guru. Spokesperson of the moderate Hurriyat Conference said that the party did not accept assembly but asked to government to learn some lessons from Tamil Nadu and fulfill its duties if it claims to represent people.
State government apprehends trouble if Guru is hanged. The Home Ministry has sent the file on Guru’s mercy petition to President Pratibha Patil.

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