New Delhi: Home Secrertary RK Singh on Tuesday said that the family of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, who was hanged and buried in Tihar Jail in Delhi on February 9, will be allowed to offer prayers at his grave. "No problem if Afzal's family come to Tihar and pray at his grave," he said.
Singh also said that the belongings of Afzal will be handed over to his family when they will visit the national capital. Sources, however, said the jail authorities were yet to decide on the day when the Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist's family will be allowed to visit Tihar.
Since Afzal was executed, his family has been demanding that they should be allowed to offer "fathaih namaz" (prayer at the grave) and take his belongings. On Monday, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had said that the government would consider the family's demand.
The government has been facing a lot of criticism for being "insensitive" towards Afzal's family and not informing it in advance about the execution. Waving a photocopy of the speedpost receipt, which the government had claimed to have sent to the family, Shinde had said on Monday that "two speedposts within the gap of 10 minutes were sent on the evening of February 7."
However, Post Master General of Jammu and Kashmir Circle John Samuel said in Srinagar that the letter was sent from Delhi on February 8 and received in Srinagar on February 9. According to the official website of India Post, a speed post from national capital to any part of the country other than metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai Hyderabad and Bengaluru will take four to six days.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, in an interview to CNN-IBN, had said on Sunday that he wished that Afzal's family was allowed to meet the Parliament attack convict before he was taken to the gallows.