This Article is From Mar 04, 2013

Afzal Guru hanging, burial will be focus of Jammu and Kashmir assembly

Afzal Guru hanging, burial will be focus of Jammu and Kashmir assembly
Srinagar: The top-secret operation by the central government to hang and bury Afzal Guru is being dissected by political parties in his home state today. The fact that Guru's body has not been returned to his family nearly a month after he was executed in Delhi has turned into a political firestorm in Jammu and Kashmir. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has publicly expressed his differences with the centre over the hanging, and the violation of Guru's rights to see his family one last time before he was hanged.

Here are 10 big developments in this story:

  1. The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly will discuss last month's execution of Guru, convicted for assisting the parliament attack of 2001 in which 14 people were killed.

  2. Guru's family, which lives in Sopore in the Kashmir Valley, has been demanding that his body be returned to them so they can bury him at a local graveyard with accompanying last rites.

  3. He was hanged and buried at Delhi's Tihar Jail on February 9.

  4. His wife received a letter from officials at Tihar Jail informing her of his execution two days after he had been hanged on February 9. The centre's failure to give his family a last chance to meet him in Delhi has been widely criticised by human rights activists, and provoked severe tension in Kashmir, where many believe he was not given a fair trial.

  5. On Friday, the speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly agreed to a discussion on Guru today. 

  6. The chief minister of the state, Omar Abdullah, has said his National Conference did not support Guru's hanging. The opposition says that because he was informed by the centre in advance about the execution, he must take responsibility for failing to stop it.

  7. Mr Abdullah runs the government in partnership with the Congress, which was reportedly not in favour of today's discussion. His National Conference is also a member of the Prime Minister's ruling coalition.

  8. Both Mr Abdullah's party and the main opposition party, the People's Democratic party or PDP, had pushed for today's debate.

  9. Guru was found guilty by the Supreme Court in 2002 of providing accommodation and arms to the five terrorists who drive into Parliament in December 2001 and opened fire. A shootout with security guards followed. 14 people died, including all five terrorists.

  10. Guru had said he was not guilty. His wife had filed a petition asking for his death sentence to be commuted, which was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee days before Guru was hanged on February 9.