Uneasy J&K alliance: PDP wants Afzal Guru exhumed, returned to J&K

The uneasy alliance between the PDP and the BJP to form the Jammu & Kashmir government got off to a rocky start today, with a group of People's Democratic Party MLAs today raising fresh protests over the hanging of alleged terrorist Afzal Guru.

A group of eight PDP legislators called Guru's hanging "a travesty of justice", thereby perhaps embarrassing Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed of their party, who took over the reins of the state on Sunday.

The group issued a statement which said, "PDP has always maintained that late Afzal Guru's hanging was [a] travesty of justice and constitutional requirements / process was not followed in hanging him out of turn" – adding significantly that "The party promises to follow vigorously for the return of the mortal remains [of Guru]."

The statement further said the MLAs believe that the resolution brought by Engineer Rashid to seek clemency for Guru was justified and should have been adopted by the House at that time.

Guru was convicted in the 2001 terrorist attack on parliament in Delhi, and hanged as well as quietly buried in the premises of Tihar Jail on 9 February 2013. Even the most neutral commentators were critical of the haste in hanging him and disposing of his body without prior information to his family.

Oddly, the hanging was ordered by the supposedly secular UPA government, rather than the present right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party. But the PDP protests are widely seen as being against its coalition partner.

The legislators who issued a statement comprised Mohammad Khalil Bandh, Zahoor Ahmed Mir, Raja Manzoor Ahmad, Mohd Abas Wani, Yawar Dilawar Mir, Advocate Mohd Yosuf, Aijaz Ahmad Mir and Noor Mohd Sheikh.

In 2011, a resolution seeking clemency for Guru could not be taken up in the Jammu & Kashmir assembly due to pandemonium in the House. The resolution became void as according to the rules, any listed business that does not come up for discussion lapses.

Chief minister Sayeed recently described the PDP-BJP alliance as the "coming together of the North Pole and South Pole".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP and the PDP forged a coalition government after inconclusive elections in the state two months ago.