Srinagar: The pro-freedom camp of Friday paid tributes to Muhammad Maqbool Bhat and Afzal Guru on their anniversaries.
Those who paid homage included – Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik, Tehreek-e- Hurriyat (TeH) chief Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, National Front (NF) and Democratic Freedom Party (DFP).
“Bhat is the cornerstone of our resistance and symbol of freedom and liberty,” Yasin Malik said in a statement. “His struggle and sacrifices represent every oppressed and subjugated human. Afzal Guru also sacrificed his life for the righteous cause.”
JKLF chief further said: “Bhat was an ideologue, a warrior, a leader and an intellectual who led Kashmiris on all fronts, be it diplomatic front, armed, political or intellectual front. His struggle and martyrdom is a glorious chapter of our history that will always guide us through the tough journey of our freedom struggle and us as a nation need to follow his footsteps and remain steadfast in our resistance against tyranny and oppression.”
Announcing various programs to be held on Maqbool Day this year, JKLF chairman said that “various protest programs will be held across the globe on the occasion of Maqbool Bhat’s 35th martyrdom day and Kashmiris living throughout the world will observe this day as a national day”.
He said programs announced by the joint resistance leadership (JRL) “will be followed in letter and spirit as protest marches, sit-in and submitting memorandums seeking the return back of mortal remains of the great leader back to his motherland”.
“JKLF leaders and activists will hold protests in Islamabad Pakistan, Lahore, Karachi and other cities of Pakistan while as programs will also be held across Europe, UK, USA, Canada, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and other parts of Middle East,” he stated.
TeH chief Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai in a statement termed the hanging of Afzal Guru as “travesty of justice”.
“Far from satisfying the ‘collective conscience’ of the Indian society, the hanging of Afzal Guru only exposes the double standards of the justice system,” he added.
National Front spokesperson in a statement said: “Kashmir resistance history is full of the stories of brave hearts who are the real heroes of our nation. Afzal Guru was sent to gallows on 9th February 2013 while as Maqbool Bhat was also hanged to death on 11th February 1984, at infamous Tihar Jail, Delhi and both were buried in the jail premises, and depriving their families of their right to offer last rites of their loved ones.”
He further said that Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat “has not deterred Kashmiri people from demanding their right to self-determination and it has instead produced hundreds and thousands of Afzals and Maqbools who are scripting a remarkable history of resistance”.
The National Front spokesman appealed human rights organisations to play their role in returning the mortal remains of Afzal Guru and Shaheed Maqbool Bhat to their legal heirs.
DFP in a statement said: “The fact on ground is that the precious blood of Mohammad Maqbool Bhat and Afzal Guru has produced countless heirs.”
The DFP spokesperson further said that “both the martyrs are glorious chapters of our resistance history and Kashmiris will continue to demand for their political rights and the mortal remains of their two great national heroes.”