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Call for Monday shutdown against Afzal verdict

Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar | August 06, 2005 19:08 IST
Last Updated: August 06, 2005 19:22 IST

Even as the two factions of the separatist political conglomerate, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference continue to drift apart from each other, both the Mirwaiz-led APHC group and that of Syed Ali Shah Geelani have called for a general shutdown in Srinagar on Monday to protest the upholding of the death sentence for Mohammad Afzal Guru by the Supreme Court.

The pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation front and the Kashmir Bar Association have also called for a protest shutdown on Monday even as Afzal's wife Tabassum says she would be petitioning the President for mercy to her husband.

32-year-old Tabassum told a group of local journalists who visited the family on Saturday, "There is impending darkness surrounding our future. Looking at my 6-year-old son Ghalib Afzal and his old grandmother, I have decided to appeal to the Indian President for mercy."

Parliament attack: Death for Afzal

Afzal's brother, Aiyaz Ahmad Guru said his brother had a brilliant academic record and had secured admission in a local medical college where he studied for two years before crossing the border to obtain training in handling weapons. "When he returned back from across the border, he was disgruntled with the state of militancy in Kashmir and surrendered himself before the local paramilitary camp, where officers gave him a certificate stating that he had surrendered before them," Aijaz said.

The family is in total shock as they face the prospect of a certain death of their dear one. Neighbours, relatives and friends have been gathering at their small village home to console the family whose grief seems to be beyond any reprieve.

JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik said in Srinagar that "the death sentence will not suppress the freedom movement." Sajjad Lone, chairman of the Peoples Conference told a local daily that the "peace process and death sentence could not go together."



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