Tributes paid to Maqbool Bhat, Afzal Guru
SRINAGAR: The speakers at the AIP seminar on Sunday pledged to not allow the government of India (GoI) to hang “one more innocent”, Muzaffar Rather, of Kulgam. The seminar was presided over by Aijaz Guru, the elder brother of the parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
The seminar, organised by Awami Itihad Party (AIP), to commemorate the anniversaries of late Mohammad Maqbool Bhat and Mohammad Afzal Guru, was attended by hundreds of people hailing from different walks of life. Speaking on the occasion, noted columnist Ajaz-ul-Haque said, “The Govt of India has been selective in capital punishments and has never answered 13 questions pertaining to parliament attack raised by the noted writer Arundhati Roy.”
“Noted writer Harsh Mander in his book has revealed that in Gujarat High Court, Narendra Modi was charge-sheeted as accused for his role in Gujarat riots and the double standards stand exposed as he went unpunished and is holding the highest office in the country.”
Journalist Gowhar Geelani said “the ongoing resistance is not for stopping human rights violations but for political rights including the right to self-determination”. “In 21st century, there is no scope for capital punishment, whosoever may be hanged, for whatsoever reasons. Aspirations never die and there is no way to suppress people’s voice,” he said. Deputy grand Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam said India has “crossed all limits and there is no option but to continue the struggle for right to self-determination”. He said minorities are living like second class citizens in India.
BBC Bureau Chief Riyaz Masroor appealed for a joint strategy to get back the mortal remains of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat. He asked the Kashmiri leadership to approach the civil society and other meaningful forums all across India to explain them the sufferings of people of J&K and the significance of resolving Kashmir dispute. High Court lawyer Baber Qadri said, “New Delhi is trying to impose view point of majority community rather following rules of justice. We need to respect all voices even if we may not subscribe to them.”
Chairman All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee Jagmohan Singh Raina, economist Shakeel Kalandar, social and political activist Imtiyaz Alam, and Advocate Noor-ul-Shahbaz were among the speakers.
Speaking on the occasion, AIP chief Er Rasheed said, “Had hangings been the solution, then people would never have dared to pick up arms in their hands. The hangings have failed to stop people from owning radical views. I appeal masses to remain united and not doubt each other.”