Joint Resistance Leadership writes to UN chief, demand return of mortal remains of Afzal Guru, Maqbool Butt

The Joint Resistance Leadership on Monday submitted a memorandum to the United Nations general secretary Antonio Guterres to seek return of mortal remains of Maqbool Butt and Afzal Guru.

Both Butt and Guru were executed and buried inside the premises of Tihar jail in New Delhi.

Below is the test of the memorandum:

On behalf of the people of Jammu & Kashmir we the under-signed convey the overwhelming desire of our people to get the mortal remains of “our martyrs legendary Mohammad Maqbool Bhat and Mohammad Afzal Guru to give them a dignified burial they deserve.”

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The two prominent heroes of Kashmir freedom struggle were executed in the Tihar Jail of New-Delhi on February 11, 1984 and on February 9, 2013 respectively.

Denying the legal right to their kith and kin to give them proper burial and funeral after execution, the two were buried inside the premises of Tihar Jail.

It is not only our assertion but the opinion of many human rights organizations, activists and justice loving people around the globe that both ideologues Mohammad Maqbool Bhat and Mohammad Afzal Guru’s execution was based on politically-motivated judgments and against all norms of justice and fairness. They were executed just “to satisfy the collective conscience of the Indian society” rather than on the basis of concrete evidence or the principle of fair justice.

Excellency, as the saying goes that, “there is no crueller tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice” both were hanged under the same shield of law and in the name of justice. What could be crueller than even denying the legal right of their proper burial and funeral to their near and dear ones?

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Both being the prominent heroes of our freedom struggle, it has been the constant demand of the people of Jammu & Kashmir to get their mortal remains so that they are given an appropriate and dignified burial. The demand is completely genuine and in accordance with the principles of law and justice. However, the successive governments of India have rejected this demand and refused to return the mortal remains of the two martyrs to the people.

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Excellency, the people of Jammu & Kashmir are engaged in a struggle for the exercise of their right to self-determination that has been accrued to them through UN charter and various United Nations resolutions for the past seven decades and the government of India has been using all possible methods of suppression and coercion to silence the voice of the people.

ALSO READ: Chapter Three: What fuelled Kashmir’s Maqbool Butt

9 and 11 February being the anniversary of Mohammad Afzal Guru and Mohammad Maqbool Bhat respectively, we appeal your Excellency to effectively take up the issue with the government of India for the return of their mortal remains to their kith and the people of Jammu & Kashmir.

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May we remind you that, “Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph”.

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