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February 12, 2013

India asked to return body of Maqbool Butt

National

February 12, 2013

LONDON: British Kashmiris have said that Indian government’s decision to hang Afzal Guru was a political manoeuvre, just as India hanged Kashmiri resistance icon, Maqbool Butt, 29 years ago to satisfy its “bloodthirsty ego”.
Organised by Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), a large number of Kashmiri Diaspora and parliamentarians gathered outside the Indian High Commission on Monday afternoon on the occasion of Shaheed Maqbool Butt’s hanging in an Indian jail to demand the handing over of his body to his family in Kapwara and to condemn India in strongest terms for hanging Guru, the alleged complicit in Indian parliament attack, whose hanging has been widely condemned by Kashmiris, civil society, and human rights organisations of the world.
Parliamentarians said that Guru was not involved in the parliament attack but given the death penalty to “satisfy collective conscience of blood thirsty elements in India who seek to victimise Kashmiris for demanding their right to self determination”. They said the hanging of Guru was another attack on the “collective conscience of Kashmiri people”. They said India had not gained anything from the hanging of Maqbool Butt, and it was certain that India has given another hero to Kashmir’s youth in Afzal Guru. They said that it was a fact that Indian “racist establishment” hated Kashmiris and Muslims, as was recently said by movie star Shahrukh Khan in an outburst but said over several years by many campaigners, including Arundhati Roy and actress Shabana Azmee.
They alleged that Afzal Guru’s hanging was a “mockery of justice” as he was framed by Indian security services and denied due legal process because “they needed a scapegoat”.Parliamentarians demanded that remains of Butt and Guru should be handed over to their families in Indian occupied Kashmir without any delay.
On this occasion, a petition was handed over to Indian High Commission officials with 38 signatures of

parliamentarians from both Houses of Parliament. The petition said: “We would like to appeal to your office to order the mortal remains of Kashmiri leader Maqbool Butt who was executed in Tihar Jail on February 11, 1984, and buried within the jail premises to be handed back to his family in Kashmir or to his children living in Pakistan.”
The petition said that Butt’s family has waited long enough to receive his body and to give him a decent burial.Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) UK president Azmat Khan said: “We never had any doubts that Afzal Guru was innocent and he had no part in the 2001 attack on Indian parliament except that he was set up by IB and task force personnel to meet with one of the alleged attackers so that the Kashmiri movement could be defamed as a ‘terrorist movement’ and another Kashmiri could be hanged as a result. We will not let Afzal Guru’s blood waste in vein.”
Lord Nazir said the issue of mass graves of Kashmiris and refusal of India to return the remains of Butt to his family showed India’s malicious attitude towards Kashmiri people which is reflected time and time again. He said justice system in democracies must not function on whims of vengeance and cheap politics of vote banks but India didn’t have any regard for the rule of law or human rights of Muslims in India.