BJP slams J&K Law Min for saying 'Afzal Guru Sahib'

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Afzal Guru
Jammu, Mar 12: Legislators on different sides of the political spectrum clashed over the Afzal Guru issue in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, forcing repeated adjournments of the House on Tuesday.

BJP members were upset when state Law Minister Mir Saif Ullah referred to the Parliament attack convict as "Afzal Guru Sahib". They protested strongly, and were joined by MLAs belonging to the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP). Both groups raised slogans against the law minister.

Earlier as soon as the house assembled for the day, members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stressed that the mortal remains of the Parliament attack convict must be handed over to his family members in order to help them bury him at their native place.

Incidentally, this demand has already been rejected by the Centre. On Monday, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde made it clear that Guru's body cannot be taken back to the Kashmir valley.

Guru was buried in Delhi's Tihar Jail hours after he was hanged there on Feb 9. The trial court had found him guilty of plotting with the terrorists who attacked the heart of Indian democracy on Dec 13, 2001. The Delhi High Court and later the Supreme Court upheld the trial court's verdict.

Nevertheless, parties based in Kashmir argued that Guru should not have been given the death penalty. After his hanging, the Hurriyat Conference called for a shutdown in the Valley till the Centre gives permission to Guru's kin for re-burial.

The ruling National Conference and the opposition PDP endorsed the demand. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah even wrote to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in this regard. Former central minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed also shot off a letter to the PM, urging him to ensure that Guru's body is brought back to Kashmir.

However, BJP and JKNPP are of the opinion that the Centre must not buckle to pressure. They feel that some sections in the Valley could take advantage of the emotive issue to fan the flames of separatism.

OneIndia News

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