Senior PDP leader and Rajya Sabha member Mohammad Fayaz Mir Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and demanded returning of mortal remains of Mohammad 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 MP wrote in the letter.
He 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 secretly hanged and buried in Delhi’s Tihar jail on February 9, 2013 while Maqbool Bhat was also hanged and buried inside Tihar Jail on February 11, 1984.
“In the remote village of Seerjageer, Sopore lies a tombstone of Mohammed Afzal Guru, without his mortal remains, standing there awaiting the magnanimity of this country, that may one day find it right to return Afzal Guru’s body to his family, which lies buried in a corner in Tihar jail,” further reads the letter.
“We are well beyond the academic discussion on capital punishment and whether Guru should have been sent to the gallows even though he was at number 28 of the list of death row prisoners, but his execution and the refusal to return his body by then incumbent government till date remains a sore misery and a dark blemish on the largest democracy in the world. It was by all means an unconstitutional measure and has been called out for its huddled and secretive manner by almost all ideological groups in the country,” it states.
The PDP MP further wrote that Kashmir today stands on the edge and “we cannot overlook that reality. In this troubled time, granting our request will be like a balm on old wounds that are unhealed even after so many years. This will also be in line with the religious practices of the deceased persons. If granted, this wish will be remembered for the rest of our times as a sign of large heartedness of a Prime Minister who came to power with an unprecedented majority and a space is created for reconciliation and peaceful resolution of problems.”