'They claim to be a democracy... They don't even have the courage to give us his body'
Buhroo, who was informed about the hanging by a relative, said he didn't know how to break the news to his daughter Tabassum. "I asked one of my relatives to convey the news." He said he called the local police station, requesting that they be allowed to go to Afzal's ancestral home at Doabgah, 15 km from Baramulla. "The police declined. Later we took a private car to reach the village," he said.
Surrounded by neighbours at Afzal's ancestral house, Tabassum refused to talk to anyone.
The family believes the execution was sudden because the Congress wanted to reap political benefits. "Afzal was innocent and didn't get a fair trial," Buhroo said. "He was hanged by the Congress government for political gains. They know elections are around."
The family's only demand now is that Afzal's body be handed over to them. Buhroo said it was their right to perform his funeral in accordance with their faith. ''How can they bury him inside Tihar jail? He has a family. He has a son, a wife and a brother," he said. "They must hand over the body to us as soon as possible."
"They are claming to be the biggest democracy... They don't have the courage to give us his body," he added.
The family, including Ajaz, Tabassum and Ghalib, has written a letter to the Baramulla deputy commissioner, with a copy to J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, asking for their help for the return of Afzal's body.
"Every human being has a right (to a proper burial) as per his religion and faith. This alone can bring religious serenity and divine tranquillity to us, especially his wife and only child," says the letter.
Some of the family members are planning to leave for New Delhi on Sunday, if the government lifts the cordon around the village, and have sought the Baramulla DC's help for this. Ajaz said they would sit on a protest at Srinagar's Lal Chowk if his body was not returned.
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