Srinagar: Days after his execution, Kashmiri separatists have reserved a grave for Afzal Guru at the Mazar-e-Shahuda (martyrs graveyard) at Eidgah in downturn Srinagar.
The Parliament attack mastermind was bestowed the title of Shaheed-e-Watan (martyr of the nation) and a grave, with an epitaph, was set aside for him right next to a similar empty grave of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leader Maqbool Bhat, who was executed and buried in Tihar jail on February 11, 1984.
The black granite epitaph has Afzal’s name on it. Its inscription in archaic Urdu read: “The martyr of the nation, Mohammad Afzal Guru, Date of Martyrdom: 9th February 2013 Saturday, whose mortal remains are lying in the custody of the Government of India. The nation is awaiting its return.”
An English news channel quoted a leader of breakaway faction of JLKF that the grave was earmarked after approval of the party and that he had led a team to the Eidgah to put up the epitaph on the grave.
Importantly, the government of India had given permission to Guru’s family to pray at his grave situated inside the Tihar Jail. However, the family rejected the offer and said that they will only go there if the government agrees to hand over his body as well.
Prominent separatist leaders Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq, Abdul Gani Lone, and many top-ranking militants of central Kashmir have found their final resting place at the cemetery.