Return of mortal remains: JRL petitions UN chief

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

The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik Monday submitted a memorandum to the United Nations general secretary Antonio Guterres to seek return of mortal remains of Muhammad MaqboolBhat and Muhammad Afzal Guru. 

Both Bhat and Guru were executed and buried inside the premises of Tihar jail in New Delhi. The memorandum reads that on behalf of the people of J&K, “we want to convey the overwhelming desire of our people to get the mortal remains of our martyrs  Bhat and Guru to give them a dignified burial they deserve”.

“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,” the memorandum reads.  “It is not only our assertion but the opinion of many human rights organisations, activists and justice-loving people around the globe that execution of both ideologues was based on politically-motivated judgments and against all norms of justice and fairness,” the memorandum reads. “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.”

“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”, the memorandum reads. “What could be crueller than even denying the legal right of their proper burial and funeral to their near and dear ones?” 

The memorandum further states that both Guru and Bhat “being prominent heroes of our freedom struggle, it has been the constant demand of the people of J&K 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,” it reads. “The people of J&K 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”. The memorandum reads that February 9 and 11 being the anniversaries of Muhammad Afzal Guru and Muhammad MaqboolBhat 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 and Kashmir.”