Return Of Guru’s Body: NC, Cong Evasive On Resolution


Taj Says Issue To Be Decided Between Omar And New Delhi

SRINAGAR: A top state Congress leader on Saturday sought to wash hands off the issue of Muhammad Afzal Guru’s body, dumping responsibility into the lap of chief minister Omar Abdullah.

Both partners in the ruling coalition voiced indecision on an assembly resolution likely to be moved in the forthcoming session to demand the return of Guru’s mortal remains from Tihar Jail.

“We are yet to decide (on the possible resolution),” senior Congress leader and cabinet minister Taj Mohiuddin said. “But in my opinion, it (the body) should be (brought back).”  

Admitting that people in Kashmir were “concerned” over Guru’s hanging, the minister, however, hastened to add that the issue of returning his remains was to be decided between the chief minister and the government of India.

“It is not the party that has to decide on the return of the body. It is a matter falling in the jurisdiction of the chief minister, and the issue pertains to the chief minister and the government of India,” he said.

Chief minister Omar Abdullah had been opposed to Guru’s execution, and is learnt to be urging the centre to return his body to the kin.

His party heavyweight, Ali Muhammad Sagar, quickly presses the point home.

“The National Conference has already made its stand on the issue very clear,” Sagar said when asked whether his party favoured the demand. “We have left no room for any doubts or misgivings.”

But Sagar, who also is a cabinet minister, was non-committal on supporting a possible resolution in the assembly.

“Let us see if any resolution is moved. Then we will decide,” he said.    

 Independent MLA from Langate, En Abdul Rasheed, whose resolution last year to get Guru’s death penalty commuted was made to fall through in the assembly, has indicated intentions to move another one this session seeking the return of his body.

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