Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday told the state assembly that 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s hanging was not ‘selective and political’ and that ‘the course of action regarding similar cases would determine it’.
“Let us wait and watch what action is being taken against others convicted in similar cases”, he added and lambasted the opposition Peoples Democratic Party and separatists for doing politics on human blood.
Guru was hanged on February 9 in Delhi’s Tihar jail after his mercy petition was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee.
The chief minister was replying to the discussion on the adjournment motion on the hanging of Guru in the state assembly.
“Yes, my government imposed restrictions, people had to face difficulties, newspapers did not hit stalls but we saved the bloodshed and safeguarded the lives which was of prime concern and main objective before me after the hanging of Afzal Guru”, he said.
Elaborating that on February 8 he was informed by Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde at about 8 pm that the mercy petition moved by the family of Guru had been rejected by the President of India and the government had decided to hang him the next day.
“I was asked to make necessary preparations regarding controlling the situation in the state”, he said, adding that the 'prime concern at that point of time was to save the lives of people' and avoid any use of force.
“Imposition of curfew in the valley was the only resort in that situation,” he said.
The adjournment motion had been moved by the opposition PDP in the House. PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti expressed her party’s dissatisfaction with chief minister’s reply to the debate on the adjournment motion.
The PDP leader told the House that the government had failed to give any assurance on the return of the mortal remains of Guru to his family.
She told the House that ‘instead of making any substantial commitment on the return of the mortal remains or offering explanation on the shameful conduct of his government’ around the hanging of Guru, the chief minister had ‘arrogantly justified the official repression in the shape of curfew and media gag in KashmirValley’.
Observing that hanging of Afzal Guru was not in the overall interests of the country, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, Communist Party of India-Marxist state secretary and MLA, said that his hanging without informing his family members had 'contributed neither to national unity nor to national security', adding that ‘it is bound to help only those who want to undermine the fabric of the country’.
Participating in the debate on the adjournment motion on hanging of Guru and return of his mortal remains to his family in the legislative assembly on Monday, Tarigami said that ‘the circumstances under which the episode took place shall have serious implications on the social and political sphere of the state as it has exposed how major decisions of national importance are made on petty political considerations without caring of its fallout’.
“The episode has also put a question mark on the judicial and constitutional system of the country”, Tarigami added.
Meanwhile, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mir Saifullah said that the state government has already requested the Union government for handing over the mortal remains of Afzal Guru, so that his family could perform his last rites.