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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 829

Govt to reject plea to hand over Afzal Guru body to family

From R. Vasudevan—Reporting from New Delhi
New Delhi, 19 February (Asiantribune.com):

Government is likely to turn down the request of family of Afzal Guru, who was hanged and buried in Tihar jail, for handing over his body.

A senior Home Ministry official said a final decision in this regard will be taken soon and the Jammu and Kashmir government will be informed about it.

The State government had forwarded a letter sent by Guru’s wife Tabassum to Deputy Commissioner of Baramulla demanding handing over of his body.

The Home Ministry official said Guru was buried inside Tihar Jail complex in line with the prison manual and the government has no plans to hand over the body considering various aspects, including the law and order situation in the State.

Various outfits including main opposition party in the State PDP and separatist groups have been demanding handing over the body of Guru, who was hanged on February 9 after his conviction in the 2001 Parliament attack case.

The Valley was agog with rumours on Sunday that Guru’s body had arrived and was being buried in the cover of darkness. The news spread like a wild fire through social networking sites.

Last week, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had expressed his displeasure to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde over the delay in informing Guru’s family about his hanging. Dr. Singh told Shinde that Guru’s family should have been informed in advance about the execution.

The government has already said it will allow close relatives to visit Guru’s grave, an offer rejected by the family saying they want nothing but his body. With reports of a grave being readied for Guru’s bodyand even tomb stones prepared, the government does not want the terrorist is glorified in any way by separatists.
In a related development, “Let Parliament discuss whether the body of Afzal Guru should be taken to Jammu and Kashmir as demanded by his family,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Monday.

Meanwhile, life returned to normal in Srinagar and other major towns of the Kashmir valley Monday after seven days of curfew and two days of separatist-sponsored shutdown following the February 9 execution Afzal Guru. Shops, banks, post offices, business establishments and government offices were open in the Jammu and Kashmir summer capital, while public transport was plying normally.

- Asian Tribune -

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