Mehbooba Mufti “disappointed” over execution
Terming the execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on Saturday as disappointing, Jammu and Kashmir opposition PDP president Mehbooba Mufti demanded handing over his body to the family for last rites.
"While the hanging should not have been carried out, the return of Afzal's body was the least the government could do to show its concern for humanitarian values," the PDP president said in a statement.
Mehbooba said the PDP believed that whatever the requirements of legal process, there was a need for the government to take into consideration the overall political impact of this execution, which is the reason why the option of mercy has been provided under the constitution.
She said the PDP had, keeping this in view, made an appeal to the President of India in 2011 to grant clemency to Guru and commute his death sentence into life imprisonment. "We feel that at a time when there is a need to step up measures to reduce the trust deficit between the state and rest of the country, the execution of Afzal Guru could produce results to the contrary. Our party is generally in favour of scrapping death penalty from the statute book and we reiterate that position once again," Mufti said.
Referring to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's claim that he had no role in carrying out the execution, Mehbooba said the state government cannot be absolved of its responsibility in taking this crucial decision that can have long term political implications on the state.
Valley under indefinite curfew
Kashmir valley was placed under indefinite curfew on Saturday and internet mobile services were snapped as precautionary steps by the state government apprehending a backlash in the wake of Guru's hanging. Thirty-six people including 23 policeman were injured in clashes in some parts of the valley. MLA from Langate in north Kashmir Engineer Rashid was detained as he led the protests in his constituency.
Four people had received bullet injuries.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah arrived in Srinagar from Jammu and chaired a high-level meeting to review the law and order situation shortly before the execution was to take place.
As the news of Guru's spread, Omar made an appeal to people to maintain peace and not to allow those with vested interests to take advantage of the situation.
Deployment of Jammu and Kashmir Police and para-military forces began from 4am and as per the plan chalked out by director general of state police Ashok Prasad in consultation with the Chief Minister, the entire spread of forces was completed by 5am in all the 10 districts.
As a precautionary measure, the bandwith for internet was decreased considerably thereby leaving the customers without any mobile internet.
Moderate Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq declared a four-day mourning.
"We call on people to observe four-day mourning on the hanging of Guru. A complete shutdown will be observed over the mourning period," Shahidul Islam, spokesman of the amalgam, said.
Attempts to break the curfew restrictions were made in Zahgeer in Sopore, old Baramulla town and Khanpura on Baramulla-Uri highway in north Kashmir besides in Lower Munda in south Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Chiefs of both factions of Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and and Mirwaiz Farooq, were on Saturday placed under house arrest in the national capital Delhi as a preventive measure following the hanging of Afzal Guru.
- Asian Tribune -