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Kashmir shuts down on Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru's death anniversary

Life was disrupted in Kashmir as many parts of the region observed a shutdown to mark the fourth death anniversary of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on Thursday.

Security restrictions were imposed on several parts of old Srinagar. Main city markets remained closed while public transport vehicles went off the road.

As many as 14 people, including five militants, were killed in the terror attack. Delivering its verdict, the Supreme Court had said: “The collective conscience of the society will only be satisfied if capital punishment is awarded to the offender.”

in Tihar jail on February 9, 2013, and his remains were not handed over to his family.

However, for many Kashmiris, he remains the victim of an unjust system.

The Valley’s separatist leadership, which called for the shutdown, said “people will seek the mortal remains of Shaheed Mohammad Afzal Guru” on the day.

No violence was reported in areas brought under shutdown – including Guru’s hometown of Sopore – till late noon. However, the authorities decided to leave nothing to chance, and suspended train services between Banihal and Baramulla.

A large number of Kashmiri netizens took to the social media to criticise the execution.

Guru’s family, for its part, has been able to leave the past behind. Last year, his son Ghalib – who was only two years old when the militant was arrested – scored 95% marks in the annual state board matriculation examination, securing the 19th position in the Valley. He scored 474 marks out of 500 and received ‘A1’ grade in all five subjects.

Separatist leaders have also called for a complete shutdown on February 11, the death anniversary of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front founder Mohammad Maqbool Bhat.

The separatist leader, convicted of murdering a CID officer, was hanged in Tihar jail on February 11, 1984. Bhat’s remains were not returned to his family either.

Source: HindustanTimes