Will it be Maqbool Bhat part II in Kashmir?
Mazar-e-Shahuda (martyrs graveyard) at Eidgah might have another empty grave like that of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leader Bhat for Afzal Guru.
Bhat was hanged and buried inside Tihar jail on February 11, 1984. His empty grave in Kashmir lies next to the graves of prominent militant leaders Ishfaq Majid Wani, Sheikh Abdul Hamid, and Mohammad Abdullah Bangroo. Bhat’s execution had set the valley on fire.
This time around, Guru’s family and separatists have joined the chorus to have a similar empty grave for him to symbolise his “sacrifice” for the Kashmir separatist movement.
“Afzal deserves the place where all martyrs are buried. We really feel that there should be a separate grave for Afzal as well [in Mazar-e-Shahuda]. The family is unanimous on this,” Guru’s cousin Mohammad Yasin Guru said.
Mazar-e-Shahuda was formed at Eidgah in 1990 when the valley was swept by militancy. The graveyard has been the last resting place of top separatist leaders like Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq (father of Mirwaiz Maulvi Umar Farooq) and Abdul Gani Lone.
“It is matter of time when there will be a grave reserved for Afzal similar to Maqbool Bhat in Mazar-e-Shahuda. Kashmiris have a right over their martyrs’ bodies,” Syed Saleem Geelani, senior leader of the moderate Hurriyat Conference, said.
Afzal Guru’s family has decided to move the Supreme Court, seeking his mortal remains. “Our lawyers will file the case. We will visit Delhi later,” Yasin Guru said.