NEW DELHI: Afzal Guru’s wife Tabassum, in a letter to Tihar Jail director general Vimla Mehra, has sought permission to perform last rites.
Guru, executed on Saturday for his role in the December 2001 attack on the Indian parliament, was buried in the jail complex.
“We are writing you to please permit the family members to give Afzal Guru a proper dignified last rites in accordance with the religious traditions. If you could inform us when the family members can perform their ‘Namaaz-e-Janaza’, we would appreciate it,’’ she has said in her letter to the Tihar Jail chief.
Tabassum, who along with her 14-year-old son Ghalib lives in Baramullah with her father, said, “We do not wish to make it a political issue in an atmosphere which is already volatile but the family members, as citizens of India, have a right, which must be respected.’’ Guru’s ancestral home at Doabagh is about 15 kilometre from Baramullah.
The letter has been delivered by Guru’s lawyer ND Pancholi.
Jammu and Kashmir opposition PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has also demanded that his body be handed over to the family for last rites.
“While the hanging should not have been carried out, the return of Afzal’s body was the least the government could do to show its concern for humanitarian values,” Mehbooba said in a statement in Srinagar.
Mehbooba, who had sought clemency for Guru, said, “We feel that at a time when there is a need to step up measures to reduce the trust deficit between the state and rest of the country, the execution of Afzal Guru could produce results to the contrary. Our party is generally in favour of scrapping the death penalty from the statute book and we reiterate that position once again.’’