Geelani Visits Afzal Guru In Tihar Jail17 April 2010
Srinagar: Mohammad Afzal Guru, who is on a death row in the 2001 parliament attack case, had a special guest on Friday when Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani dropped-in to meet him in Tihar jail. Geelani is the first top Kashmiri separatist leader to visit Guru in Tihar Jail since his arrest and conviction in the parliament attack case of December 2001. “Geelani visited Tihar jail to meet Guru because we feel he is innocent. The visit was long overdue and yesterday Geelani Sahib got a chance to meet Guru who has been framed by the government”, said Peer Saifullah, Geelani’s close aide and senior leader of hard-line faction of Hurriyat Conference. The 80-year-old Geelani was in New Delhi for the past few weeks where he addressed a Tamil Conference and also met Guru and other Kashmiri detainees in Tihar jail. Afzal Guru along with Showkat Guru, his wife Afshan Guru and Delhi University teacher Abdul Rahman Geelani was charged with planning the attack on the parliament on December 13, 2001. “Guru is resolute in Jail. He has sent a message to the Kashmiri nation to continue the freedom struggle till it reaches its logical conclusion”, said Geelani. Guru’s wife Tabasum and 10-year-old-son Ghalib had met former president APJ Abdul Kalam a few years ago and had sought pardon for the parliament attack convict. The mercy petition is still pending before the president. Afzal Guru’s conviction is a touchy issue in Kashmir with separatists cutting across the party and ideological lines warning of serious consequences if he is executed. “If the centre hangs Afzal, he will become another Maqbool Bhat who was hanged in Tihar in 1982 but he continues to live in the hearts of people. His hanging will never be tolerated and there will be an uprising against it”, said Geelani.