Police foil JRL’s protest seeking return of mortal remains of Maqbool Bhat, Afzal Guru | KNO

Police foil JRL’s protest seeking return of mortal remains of Maqbool Bhat, Afzal Guru | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, February 11 (KNO) : Scores of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) leaders and activists were on Monday detained at Lal Chowk after they were protesting at Lal Chowk Srinagar, a statement issued to KNO said.

The protesters as per the statement were demanding the return back of mortal remains of what they termed as foremost resistance leader and ideologue’ Muhammad Maqbool Butt and son of soil Muhammad Afzal Guru who were hanged at Tihar jail on 11th February 1984 and 9th February 2013 respectively and buried inside the said Jail.

Those arrested today included Sheikh Abdul Rashid, Imtiyaz Ahmad Shah, professor Javed, Javed Ahmad Butt, Fayaz Ahmad Lone, Abdul Rashid Lone, Irshad Aziz, Shakir Ahmad Ahangar, Mukhtar Ahmad and Imtiyaz Ahmad Ganiee, JRL said. It added that many women leaders and activists including Muslim Khawateen Markaz Chief Yasmin Raja, Dilshada Bano, Afroza Akhtar, Naseema Bano were also arrested by police during the protest. 

Earlier, leaders and activists of JRL along with people from other walks of life including women gathered near JKLF office Maisuma and marched towards Lal Chowk, the statement said, adding that “Police to foil Lal Chowk protest had sealed almost all entry and exit points with barbed wire and other barricades.”

Heavy deployment of forces and stringent restrictions were also in place but despite these oppressive measures and spree of arrests and nocturnal raids, it added. JRL leaders along with other people and activists marched towards Lal Chowk with passion. As this protest rally reached near Budshah Chowk, it was stopped by heavily armed police and forces.

Holding photographs and placards depicting photographs of Muhammad Maqbool Butt and Muhammad Afzal Guru and raising slogans in favor of freedom, martyrs and return back of the mortal remains of Maqbool and Afzal, protesters gave a stiff resistance to police and forces. “Police after using force arrested many JRL leaders and activists and shifted them to police station Kothi-bagh immediately,” it added.

Prior to their arrest, JRL leader Sheikh Abdul Rashid while talking to media and protesters said that “the hanging of foremost resistance leader Muhammad Maqbool Butt and warrior Muhammad Afzal Guru and denial of a proper burial to them by India is a worst kind of cruelty and tyranny that is exposing the tall claims of Indian democracy.”

Paying tributes to Muhammad Maqbool Butt, JRL leader said that “the illegal hanging of these two Kashmiris is actually travesty of justice done by biggest democracy of the world and refusing these martyrs a proper burial shows that Indian state is fearful of even the corpses of these martyrs.”

While condemning the ‘oppression unleashed by rulers to suppress peaceful protests on 9th and 11h February’, speakers said that “imposition of curfew and restrictions in Srinagar, Kupwara and other parts of Kashmir, nocturnal and daytime police raids against resistance leaders and activists, placing many under house arrest including Senior leader and chairman APHC(G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani and chairman APHC(M) Mirwaiz Muhammad Umar Farooq and arresting JKLF chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik has exposed the myth of Indian democracy in Jammu Kashmir.”

Speakers also condemned the arrest and house arrest of various leaders and activists including Muhammad Ashraf Sehraie, Showkat Ahmad Bakhshi, Noor Muhammad Kalwal, Muhammad Salim Nanaji, Mushtaq Ajmal, Bilal Ahmad Sideequi, Muhammad Yasin Butt, Ghulam Muhammad Dar, Bashir Ahmad Boya, Gulzar Ahmad Pahalwan, Fayaz Ahmad, Muhammad Yasin Ataie, Shakil Ahmad Butt, Imtiyaz Haider, Muhammad Yosuf Butt and others.(KNO)

On the occasion a copy of the memorandum to UN secretary general was also released to media.

The text of the Memorandum is as follows.


Date: February 11, 2019

His Excellency                                                                  

Mr António Guterres

United Nations Secretary-General

UN Headquarters

First Avenue at 46th Street

New York, NY 10017 USA

E-mail: sgcentral@un.org

Excellency, Secretary-General,

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.

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 crueler 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 crueler than even denying the legal right of their proper burial and funeral to their near and dear ones? 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.

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.

9 and 11 February being the martyrdom 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 the mortal remains of both the martyrs to their kith and the people of Jammu & Kashmir. 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”.


Syed Ali Shah Geelani,

Mirwaiz Doctor Muhammad Umar Farooq,

Muhammad Yasin Malik

On behalf of the people of Jammu Kashmir.