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Protest condemns Afzal Guru hanging


New Delhi: A group advocating the release of “political prisoners” today condemned the execution of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and hailed his “martyrdom” amid controversy over an event at JNU to protest against his “judicial killing”.

Committee for Release of Political Prisoners, a group comprising scholars and academics, expressed “serious concern” over the Centre’s “non-seriousness” to resolve the Kashmir dispute and also paid “tributes” to executed Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) founder Mohammad Maqbool Butt.

They raised “pro-azaadi” slogans at a press conference at the Press Club of India here while speaking to former Delhi University teacher SAR Geelani, who was acquitted in the Parliament attack case.

“Afzal’s martyrdom can’t be treated in isolation because he didn’t get a fair trial, or he is a hero because there is no evidence against him. We don’t call them separatists who seek freedom from the Indian state because Kashmir is not a part of India if we look at historic literature,” Uzma Falak, a filmmaker, said.

While Guru was hanged on February 9, 2013 inside Tihar Jail in Delhi, Butt was executed on February 11, 1984.

Ali Javed of University of Delhi, a member of ‘Committee for Inquiry on December 13’, said that Guru was hanged to cater to the “collective consciousness” of the society.

“We understand that the Kashmir issue should be resolved through talks but the political parties have kept the issue alive to gain political mileage and to polarise vote bank along communal lines,” he said.

Uzma added, “No matter if there is a single Indian soldier or no Indian soldier in Kashmir at all, Kashmiris will fight for freedom and will not settle for anything less than that.

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