MLAs of PDP party demand Afzal Guru’s remains; Omar terms move attempt to buy vote

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Jammu/New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 02, 2015 20:42 IST

The PDP demanded the return of executed terrorist Afzal Guru’s mortal remains on Monday, a day after Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed gave a rocky start to the party’s coalition with the BJP by cred?iting separatist leaders, militants and Pakistan for the smooth conduct of assembly elections.

Eight People’s Democratic Party MLAs said the party “promises to follow vigorously” the demand for the return of Guru’s mortal remains.

Guru was hanged in 2013 for an attack on Parliament in 2001. He was convicted of helping organise arms for the gunmen who made the attack and a place for them to stay. He always maintained his innocence.

“PDP has always maintained that late Afzal Guru's hanging was travesty of justice and constitutional requirements and process was not followed in hanging him out of turn," a statement released by the PDP MLAs read.

“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 Ahmed to seek clemency for late Afzal Guru was justified and should have been adopted by the House at that time," the statement added.

In 2011, a 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 the rules, any listed business that does not come up for discussion lapses.

Reacting to PDP's demand, National Conference working president Omar Abdullah said that it was a "cynical attempt" to buy vote of independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid for Legislative Council elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

"@jkpdp rediscovered love for Afzal Guru's remains is nothing but a cynical attempt to buy Engineer Rashid's crucial vote for MLC election," Omar wrote on micro-blogging site

He said "If @jkpdp truly believed they wanted to work to bring back Guru's remains, they would have fought to include it in the CMP, which they didn't."

Jammu and Kashmir CM Sayeed had recently described the PDP-BJP alliance as the "coming together of the North Pole and the South Pole". Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP and the PDP forged a coalition government after inconclusive elections in the state two months ago.

Speaking in the Lok Sabha on Monday, home minister Rajnath Singh dissociated the government and the BJP from Sayeed’s remark on the conduct of the polls.

"The government and the party fully dissociate themselves from the remarks." The minister, who was repeatedly interrupted by Opposition members, said that he had come to the house after talking to prime minister. "What I am saying, I am saying with deliberation and with consent of prime minister," Singh said.

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