PDP leader Mufti Muhammed Sayeed slams Centre for denying Afzal Guru a last meeting with family

Srinagar After Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah criticised the execution of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, the main opposition People's Democratic Party in the state called India a "banana republic".

Former Chief Minister and PDP patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed issued a statement this evening urging the Centre to return the body of Afzal Guru to his family and accused it of a "narrow-minded approach (that) has caused serious setbacks to the peace process". (Read full statement)

His statement reflected complete support for Afzal Guru, matching the sentiments that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah expressed on Sunday, a day after the execution, in interviews to TV channels.

Mr Mufti said, "It is no good to regret the inability of the government to deny Afzal's family a last mandatory meeting with him or deny his body to the family. This reduces Mahatama Gandhi's country, the world's largest democracy and a genuine candidate for super power status, to a banana republic."

Mr Mufti was home minister of the country in the shortlived VP Singh government from 1989-1990.

Mr Mufti urged the central government to "roll back the draconian measures in Kashmir, which have caused a whole population to be imprisoned".

He blamed the Centre for what has been happening in the state, claiming that law and order is a state subject and measures like curfew have been taken by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

Story First Published: February 11, 2013 20:30 IST