8 MLAs say the party ‘promises to work vigorously’ for it
Jammu: PDP on Monday demanded from the NDA government the return of the mortal remains of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru, a day after assuming power in alliance with BJP.
Eight PDP MLAs issued a statement in this regard, saying the party “promises to follow vigorously” for the return of the mortal remains.
Guru was hanged on February 9, 2013 inside Tihar Jail.
“PDP stands by the demand for return of his mortal remains, and the party promises to follow vigorously for the return of the mortal remains,” the statement said.
The legislators who signed the statement are Mohammad Khalil Bandh, Zahoor Ahmed Mir, Raja Manzoor Ahmad, Mohammad Abas Wani, Yawar Dilawar Mir, advocate Mohammad Yousuf, Aijaz Ahmad Mir and Noor Mohammad Sheikh.
“PDP has always maintained that Afzal’s hanging was travesty of justice and constitutional requirements and process was not followed in hanging him out of turn,” the statement said.
“The way he was picked up from serial no.28 and singled out has been condemned by PDP and it stands by the demand for return of his mortal remains…,” it said.
“We believe that the resolution brought by Independent MLA Rashid to seek clemency for late Afzal Guru was justified and should have been adopted by the House at that time,” he said.
In 2011, the resolution seeking clemency for Guru could not be taken up in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly due to pandemonium in the House.
The resolution became void as according to rules, any listed business that does not come up for discussion would lapse.
On February 7, when elections to the four Rajya Sabha seats in J&K were held, five-newly elected Congress legislators close to former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad issued a statement admitting that not allowing Afzal’s family to meet him was a mistake and that the demand to return his mortal remains was a humanitarian issue.
The joint statement was issued by Congress MLAs to persuade independent legislator from the Valley Engineer Abdul Rashid to vote for Azad in the RS polls.
Rashid had been demanding an apology from the Congress on Afzal’s hanging and voted for Azad after the Congress came out with the statement. Azad won after Rashid and two other independent legislators, besides the NC and the Congress members voted for him.
NDTV reported that Rashid, who was present during the release of the statement, said, “I just wanted to prove PDP wrong the way they treated the Afzal Guru issue… If BJP has any respect for moral values then BJP should break the alliance because they were calling Afzal Guru the terrorist and I have proved that Afzal was a hero.”
National Conference chief Omar Abdullah took potshots at the PDP, tweeting, “Has Mufti decided the Modi-Mufti accord was a mistake? Are the father-daughter duo trying to force BJP to break off the alliance?”