New Delhi, Feb 26: Human rights activists who felt Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was framed by investigators and should not have been hanged earlier this month may well be forced to recant as an Urdu newspaper that is brought out from Srinagar has just published a handwritten letter in which he strongly defends the incident on Dec 13, 2001.
Shabnum Qayoom, editor of "Qaumi Waqari, says that Guru sent him the letter in 2008. As for why he did not reveal it till date, Qayoom clarified that he thinks now the time had come "to make it public".
In the letter, Guru asked Kashmiri separatists not to "feel ashamed of" the attack on Parliament. He tried to convey his opinion to Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin that "If Dec 13 is a conspiracy, then the entire armed resistance (in Jammu and Kashmir) is a conspiracy."
Salahuddin is wrong to dub the Dec 13 incident as a conspiracy, Guru stressed. "This pains my heart. The incident is linked to the Kashmir issue."
He demanded to know: "When the people who turned Kashmir into a graveyard and spilled the blood of innocent persons are not ashamed, why should we feel any shame? The rulers have no remorse for going back on their words by incorporating Kashmir into India."
Describing the Dec 13 incident as "a strike on India's heart", Guru wrote: "It is like a betrayal or treason if Kashmiris forget how aged people in the Valley were humiliated and women were dishonoured.
According to him, the "Indian rulers" will not be able to breathe easy as long as the Kashmir issue remains unresolved. Guru added: "I don't hide whatever we have done."
Qayoom believes Guru "wanted to claim responsibility" for Dec 13 and be recognised therefore as a "mujahid". The letter seems to suggest that Qayoom's assumption is right because in it Guru does urge Salahuddin to pray for his "martyrdom".