SRINAGAR The joint resistance leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik on Monday submitted a memorandum to the United Nations general secretary Antonio Guterres to seek return of mortal remains of Maqbool Butt and Afzal Guru.
Both Butt and Guru were executed and buried inside the premises of Tihar jail in New Delhi.
The text of the memorandum is as follows:
On behalf of the people of Jammu & Kashmir we the under-signed convey the overwhelming desire of our people to get the mortal remains of our martyrs legendary Mohammad Maqbool Bhat and Mohammad Afzal Guru to give them a dignified burial they deserve.
The two prominent heroes of Kashmir freedom struggle were executed in the Tihar Jail of New-Delhi on February 11, 1984 and on February 9, 2013 respectively.
Denying the legal right to their kith and kin to give them proper burial and funeral after execution, the two were buried inside the premises of Tihar Jail.
It is not only our assertion but the opinion of many human rights organizations, activists and justice loving people around the globe that both ideologues Mohammad Maqbool Bhat and Mohammad Afzal Gurus execution was based on politically-motivated judgments and against all norms of justice and fairness. They were executed just “to satisfy the collective conscience of the Indian society” rather than on the basis of concrete evidence or the principle of fair justice.
Excellency, as the saying goes that, there is no crueller tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice both were hanged under the same shield of law and in the name of justice. What could be crueller than even denying the legal right of their proper burial and funeral to their near and dear ones?
Both being the prominent heroes of our freedom struggle, it has been the constant demand of the people of Jammu & Kashmir to get their mortal remains so that they are given an appropriate and dignified burial. The demand is completely genuine and in accordance with the principles of law and justice. However, the successive governments of India have rejected this demand and refused to return the mortal remains of the two martyrs to the people.
Excellency, the people of Jammu & Kashmir are engaged in a struggle for the exercise of their right to self-determination that has been accrued to them through UN charter and various United Nations resolutions for the past seven decades and the government of India has been using all possible methods of suppression and coercion to silence the voice of the people.
9 and 11 February being the anniversary of Mohammad Afzal Guru and Mohammad Maqbool Bhat respectively, we appeal your Excellency to effectively take up the issue with the government of India for the return of their mortal remains to their kith and the people of Jammu & Kashmir.
May we remind you that, Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.
It can bring down alienation: PDP Parliamentarian to PM
PDP leader and Rajya Sabha member Mohammad Fayaz Mir Monday appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider returning the mortal remains of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and JKLF founder Mohammad Maqbool Bhat to their respective families.
Mir made the appeal in a letter to the prime minister, saying he was sure that the alienation of Kashmiris would come down by several notches if the Centre decided to return the mortal remains of Guru and Bhat.
“How can dead bodies of two Kashmiri men, who lost their dignity in gallows, be a threat to a democracy like India? Is the collective conscience of India sans the collective conscience of Kashmiris.
“I can with utmost responsibility say that should the Government of India decide to act upon this request, the animosity of Kashmiris and their sense of alienation can be brought down by several notches,” the PDP parliamentarian wrote in the letter.
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 sentence.
“In a country, where killers of an elected Prime Minister were granted clemency and their death sentence was commuted, I do not think it is appalling or disrespectful to seek return of mortal remains of two Kashmiri men to their families,” he said.
Afzal Guru was hanged on 9 February 2013 and buried inside Tihar Jail following his conviction in the Parliament attack case. Bhat was also hanged and buried inside Tihar Jail on 11 February 1984 for killing of an intelligence officer.
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