The family of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru rejected the government’s decision to allow them to visit his burial place in New Delhi’s Tihar jail, if they were not to get the body to take home.
From his fortified home in north Kashmir’s Sopore, Afzal’s cousin Mohammad Yasin Guru told Express on Tuesday that the family could hold prayers for the deceased from anywhere. “Our demand is unequivocal, we want his body back.”
Yasin, however, welcomed the government’s decision to hand over Afzal’s belongings to the family. “That’s not only our treasure, its Kashmir’s treasure,” he said.
“We welcome the decision to hand over his belongings but it should not be mixed with the issue of handing over the body. They are different issues,” he said, adding that the family doesn’t need government support to visit Delhi. “We can afford to go to Delhi but there is no point if the body is not returned.”
The family home was heavily guarded and roads leading to Tarzoo village were completely sealed.
Afzal’s burial in Tihar jail triggered a clamour for reserving an empty grave for him at the “martyrs’ graveyard” in Srinagar, like that of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front founder Maqbool Bhat. An empty grave in the same row in which Bhat’s empty grave lies has been dug with an epitaph reading: Mohammad Afzal Guru—“Shaheed-e-Watan” at the graveyard in the Old City’s Eidgah. “His remains are lying with the Indian government as a trust of the Kashmiri nation and we still are waiting for them,” it read.
Meanwhile, at least four people were hurt in clashes on Tuesday. Protestors also attacked cavalcades of two ministers.