Furore over Guru issue in Jammu & Kashmir Assembly

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Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu, Feb 28: With most politicians in the state still in a mood to protest the hanging of Afzal Guru, it is perhaps not surprising that the first day of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly's budget session witnessed much uproar over the issue.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) boycotted the governor's address on Thursday, slamming the Omar Abdullah government for failing to "protect rights of the citizen of Jammu and Kashmir - Mohammad Afzal Guru, who was hanged by depriving him of his proper legal rights".

A sit-in was staged by MLAs of the party outside the assembly. The legislators shouted slogans and carried placards which read "Tamil Nadu Nay Inkar Kiya, Punjab Nay Inkar Kiya. Par Jammu and Kashmir Sarkar Nay Ikrar Kiya".

They were citing Punjab and Tamil Nadu's strong opposition to the death penalty awarded by the courts to the assassins of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi respectively.

The PDP is upset that the ruling National Conference allowed the Centre to hang Guru on Feb 9. He was executed for conspiring with the terrorists who attacked Parliament on Dec 13, 2001.

The party feels that Guru was denied his right to appeal to the Supreme Court after President Pranab Mukherjee and the Union Home Ministry rejected his mercy plea.

PDP legislators claimed that he was "hanged secretly in unholy manner". The reference was to Guru being buried in Delhi's  Tihar Jail where his death sentence was executed.

Guru's relatives should be handed his body so that they can conduct a proper burial in their native place, the MLAs stressed.

The PDP has already moved an adjournment motion on the delay in returning his mortal remains. The party also demanded that the Assembly discuss the situation in Jammu and Kashmir following his execution.

Incidentally, an Independent legislator was marshalled out of the Assembly on Thursday. Engineer Rashid Ahmed loudly argued with the chair on the Afzal Guru issue, forcing Deputy Speaker Sartaj Mandi to order his explusion.

OneIndia News (with agency inputs)

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