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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

'Afzal's gravestone in Srinagar not removed'

Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, February 13, 2013
First Published: 18:05 IST(13/2/2013) | Last Updated: 00:07 IST(14/2/2013)

A day after a grave was dug for executed Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru in Srinagar, security was beefed up on Wednesday around the graveyard in the Eidgah area amid rumours that the tombstone had been removed by the police.

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Though, the police refuted the allegations of the marble plaque being taken away or stolen, locals said the police swooped down on the graveyard in the morning and unearthed the black marble gravestone, which had Afzal's name and the date of his hanging engraved on it.

This triggered outrage among people. Dozens of police and paramilitary troops were posted near the graveyard on Wednesday.

"The stone is there. Why would the police lift the stone? These are all rumours to fuel trouble," said a senior police official posted at the Safa Kadal police station near the graveyard.

"The media is welcome to see it," he said.

Several mediapersons, however, told HT they were not allowed to reach near the grave where the stone is kept.

On Tuesday, unknown persons erected the gravestone near an empty grave in Srinagar.

An epitaph in Urdu on the open grave for Afzal, reads: "His remains are lying with the Indian government as a trust of the Kashmiri nation and we await its return".

Curfew eased
The curfew was lifted in parts of the Valley in a phased manner on Wednesday after four days of total clampdown in the wake of Afzal Guru's execution.

However, minor clashes were reported from Bandipora district. In areas of south Kashmir's Anantnag and Pulwana districts, curfew was reimposed after protesters clashed with security forces.

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