Guru’s body likely to be flown to Kashmir next week

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Srinagar, Feb 16: Deliberations are underway in New Delhi over the shifting of Afzal Guru’s body to Kashmir, even as strong resentment is brewing among the people and the calls for seeking the mortal remains are getting louder with every passing day. Highly placed sources say Guru’s body is likely to be flown to Kashmir next week.
Sources say that consultations are being held by the officials of the Home Ministry in New Delhi in the aftermath of the secret hanging of Guru that has sparked a debate over the manner in which he was sent to gallows at the infamous Tihar jail. The growing resentment in Valley and the sharp criticism by the civil society, sources said have made the Home Ministry uneasy.
To add to their worries is the demand of Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, who has sought the return of Afzal’s mortal remains to his family fearing widespread protests across the Valley. With an eye on the coming assembly elections in the state, the state Congress leadership, sources said has also joined the bandwagon.
In the backdrop of these factors, sources said, the officials of Home Ministry held a meeting on Friday to discuss the present crisis.
Though the meeting remained inconclusive, the final decision about shifting of Afzal’s body to his hometown in Sopore, sources said is likely to be taken next week in a high level meeting that will be attended by senior cabinet Ministers in the UPA government.
“The body is likely to be airlifted next week. The body will be brought to Srinagar International Airport and then it will be carried to Sopore and handed over to the family. However, to avoid any law and order situation, tough restrictions will be put in place across the Valley,” sources said.
Officials from the state government, sources said will visit New Delhi to make all the arrangements to airlift the body to Valley. The Guru family, sources said, will also be taken into confidence in the entire process.
The demand for Afzal’s mortal remains gained momentum soon after his family came to know about the secret hanging and the subsequent burial in New Delhi’s Tihar jail. The demand came first from the Guru family.
The family had written to Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, Ghulam Ahmad Khwaja seeking the mortal remains of Afzal. The letter reached the Home Department after passing through various officials of the state government. Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah has also spoken to New Delhi seeking the return of Afzal’s body.
Besides it, many pro-India and pro-freedom groups have demanded the government of India to handover the body to Afzal’s family for proper burial according to the Islamic rituals.
GNS

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