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'Martial Law' and politicking in Kashmir
Bilal Bhat
Special Correspondent
Last Updated : 10 Feb 2013 08:33:15 PM IST
Mohammad Afzal Guru
File photo of Mohammad Afzal Guru.

A strange silence has gripped the valley after Mohammad Afzal Guru's execution in Tihar jail where his body was buried soon after sending him to gallows.

Concertina wire on the streets of Kashmir is the companion of the silence and men in khaki, the only sign of life on the deserted roads.

An occasional vehicle rushes past the barbed wire and men in khaki, some in full riot gear. Many look tired and lazy. Perhaps chasing protesters would keep the cramps away but the stone pelters are no where in sight. The valley it seems is in shock.

"Two days have passed, no internet, no news channel, no traffic on roads, government has put ban on everything that would have been helpful in keeping our minds engaged in such a strict curfew. It is suffocating." Ghulam Rasool Rather a resident of Srinagar complained.

"Execution I think for Afzal was a blessing. Now I realize how difficult it would have been for someone like him to spent eleven years in jail and for hundreds of Kashmiri detainees." Correlating Kashmir situation with inmates Rather said.

Politics has come into play after some media reports suggested Chief minister Omar Abdullah knew well in advance that Afzal was being hanged.

Omar started to relate with the people on Afzal Guru and now says that he fears it will fuel the feeling of alienation in the state, especially among young Kashmiris. He puts a question mark on the decision of central government for not allowing the family to meet Guru one last time.

Afzal Guru hanging: 'Martial Law' and politicking in Kashmir:

"As a human being, I cannot reconcile to the fact that Afzal Guru was not allowed to see his family. That is one of the biggest tragedies of this execution," Omar Abdullah said a day after the execution.

He is trying to sympathize with the Guru family after media reports said, that "Omar had suggested Guru to be executed in winters."

Snap of 'Samay' news channel special correspondent Bilal Bhat:

Highly placed sources in the government said that after Omar was taken into confidence in Guru's case he along with his father, the patron of NC, Dr Farooq Abdullah, went to Ajmer Dargah for obeisance. 

The main opposition party chief Mehbooba Mufti in an emergency press briefing in Srinagar did not 'condemn' Guru's hanging but chose proper words saying "it is sad that Guru’s family was not informed in advance and were not allowed to see him before his execution." The body should have been handed over to the family for last rites, which she said was their basic right. She further said that people of Kashmir are disempowered and the sense of alienation will reinforce by this incident.

Questioning the decision of clamping curfew in ten district of Kashmir and putting ban on normal life, Mehbooba portrayed Kashmiris as 'helpless'. When asked if she foresees any violence after Guru's hanging she said "what can a helpless Kashmiri do, when the whole population is facing martial law, which I think will alienate them further."

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