Inside the small two storied house, a group of women are inconsolable. Small groups of men scattered around the house are busy whispering about Afzal Guru. Enter Tabassum and Ghalib, wife and son of Guru and the cries and shrieks become shriller.
Two main roads leading to Afzal’s Seer-Jagir village have been sealed by the security forces. People from adjacent villages are finding it hard to reach Guru’s house by road. Those who managed to reach the house had to travel through River Jhelum in small boats.
Afzal’s elder brother Aijaz Guru is shell-shocked. Like every other day, he had gone to the mosque to offer early morning namaz when he got a call from his friend in Srinagar informing him about curfew in the city. “We had no information (about Afzal hanging). I came out of the mosque after fajr (morning prayers), a friend from Srinagar called saying curfew has been imposed. I went home and surfed the net but there was no news. I switched on the TV and heard that Afzal was woken up at 5.20am and hanged,” Aijaz told DNA.
Local villagers braved the morning chill and thronged the Guru house to console the family. But no one was sure whether the body will be given back to his kin for the last rites. “We want Afzal’s body to be given to us for last rites. Don’t we have the right to bury him according to our religious beliefs? Whatever they say, they say through media. We have not been informed. They did not even inform us about the rejection of the mercy petition”, said Aijaz. Last summer, Tabasum and Ghalib visited him in Tihar jail. “He talked to his son normally (like any other father). Ghalib (who is in class VIII) is in deep shock,” said Aijaz.
The family is not giving up the fight even after the death. “We have asked our friends and lawyers in Delhi to demand Afzal’s remains. We are moving an application to districts development commissioner Baramulla seeking his body. We are also trying to approach the court,” said Yasin Guru, Afzal’s cousin.