Abdullah tweeted: " I had written to the PM on the 19th of this month (February) asking for the return of the bodies of both Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat to their families. I followed this up with a visit to the PM to make the request in person a few days ago. My government will continue to raise this issue with Delhi." He had also raised objection to Guru's execution saying it would alienate the Kashmiri youths. Guru was convicted in the 2001 parliament attack case.
Interestingly, The National Conference leader also sought the remains of Bhat who was hanged in 1984 after the then state government led by his father Farooq Abdullah signed the JKLF leader's death warrant.
The People's Democratic Party (PDP), the main opposition party in the state, had also demanded the return of Guru's remains for a proper burial.
Party leader Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said the return of Guru's body would reduce his family's agony and open possibilities for rebuilding psychological bridges between Kashmir and the rest of the country. The party had also written to the prime minister on the same.
The twin letters have stirred up a competition among the mainstream parties trying to gain an upper edge over the separatists by demanding the bodies of Guru and Bhat. The CM admitted that he wanted to avoid playing politics with Guru's body but could not help after the PDP leader wrote to the PM.