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    Posted on 29 August 2011
    CURRENT AFFAIRS  
    PARLIAMENT ATTACK

    Afzal Guru invited Tihar jail superintendent Manoj Dwivedi to convert to Islam

    Writes to hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, says he “deeply regrets” applying for mercy.”

    Riyaz Wani
    Srinagar

    Afzal Guru


    In Tihar, death row convict Afzal Guru invited the jail superintendent Manoj Dwivedi to convert to Islam, urging him to appreciate the religion’s concept of egalitarianism and the doctrine of the oneness of God.

    “I invited him (jail superintendent) to Islam. I impressed on him the Islam’s universal message of equality and the belief in the unity of God,” Guru writes in a letter addressed to the hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. The letter, written in chaste Urdu, also says that he was ready to hang in the cause of Kashmir’s freedom.” I and my family deeply regret applying for mercy. I did this on the insistence of my friends and well-wishers. Now I want my nation to forgive me. It was my mistake and foolishness to do so”.

    Guru, for once, is not shy of accepting his role in the Parliament attack but says that attack was tied to the political conflict in Kashmir. “From sessions court to high court to supreme court, all have held me guilty for the Parliament attack. Now Congress government has also put me in the dock. And this is a fact,” the letter reads. “The attack on Parliament on 13 December 2001 is related to the conflict in Kashmir. And such attacks and resistance won’t stop by hanging Afzal”.

    The letter talks at length about Guru’s association with the superintendent of Tihar Jail No 3 Dwivedi and the discussion between the two about Kashmir problem and Islam. However, Guru is sore that Dwivedi, who is writing a book on him, has gone to media with the conversations between them and presented an incorrect picture to the world.

    “The truth is that four, five months ago the jail superintendent used to talk to me on the situation in Kashmir. I told him in unambiguous and clear terms that the first thing to do in Kashmir is for India to withdraw its troops from the state. Only then can we approach the resolution of the larger political problem in the state,” the letter reads. “I told jail superintendent that Kashmir was an international dispute and this is why United Nations has passed resolutions on the issue”.

    “I and my family deeply regret applying for mercy. I did this on the insistence of my friends and well-wishers. Now I want my nation to forgive me. It was my mistake and foolishness to do so”.

    Guru says he let Dwivedi write a book on him on the condition that he would write his life story as it is and not distort anything. “I told him that my son Ghalib would fight for truth and justice. I told him that I started learning Quran when I was six. I told him that I read Maulana Maudoodi Sahib’s book Tafseer-ul-Quran when I was 14. Then I read Khutbaat, Al-jihad-Fil-Islam (Jihad for Islam) – both of them Maudoodi’s books,” the letter reads. Guru also contradicts Dwivedi’s version that his family had converted to Islam only a few generations before. “My ancestors were probably Brahmin around seven centuries ago and not few generations before as jail superintendent has said”.

    Riyaz Wani is a Special Correspondent, Kashmir with Tehelka.
    [email protected]


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    Posted on 29 August 2011
 

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