Afzal's wife writes letter, demands return of his body

 The wife of Afzal Guru, who was hanged and buried in Tihar jail last week, has said she had full right over his body and demanded that the mortal remains be handed over to her for "proper burial" in his home state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Home Ministry, however, is likely to reject the request of Afzal’s wife Tabassum, citing jail manuals and possible law and order situation which may arise in J and K in the event of the body of the Parliament attack convict being handed over to the family, official sources said tonight.

In her short letter, Tabassum said that as Afzal’s wife she has full right over the body and its formal burial in his home state in keeping with religious traditions.

Though the letter was addressed to the Home Ministry, it was first handed over to the Deputy Commisioner of Baramulla, who then forwarded it to the state administration in Srinagar.

The state government faxed the letter to Union Home Secretary R K Singh and a letter by post is expected to reach the Home Ministry in a day or two.

Afzal was buried inside the Tihar jail soon after his hanging in a secret operation on February 9 alongside Kashmiri separatist leader Maqbool Bhat, who was also buried in the jail complex after his hanging in 1984.

The remains of Bhat was not handed over to his family.

The government has already said it will allow close relatives to visit Afzal’s grave, an offer rejected by the family saying they want nothing but his body.

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