In the letter to his family written just before the end came, Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru “hoped that peace will prevail after he has gone”.
A source close to the family revealed this, although HT could not verify the contents of the letter independently and the family refused to divulge the contents of the letter at this juncture.
But Afzal’s elder brother, Aijaz, almost verified the letter’s content: “Yes, it has beautiful messages for the people as well as the family.” He, however, insisted that the family wants “no politics on his death”.
“We will not reveal the contents till the family is out of shock. All I can say is it is a very short letter written by a person who was about to be hanged. The letter will reveal the true character of my brother. We will show it to all once things settle down a bit and normalcy returns,” Aijaz said.
The source said in the hurriedly written letter — comprising four to five lines — “Afzal asked his family not to mourn his death and not to cry after he is gone”.
The letter, received by the Srinagar Post office on Monday at 4pm, was handed over to Afzal’s wife Tabassum the next day.
General post master, Srinagar, John Samuel, said special arrangements had been made to deliver the letter.
Meanwhile, all roads leading to Afzal’s village Seer Jagir, an affluent hamlet in Sopore, have been sealed. The barricade on road to the Gurus’ two-storey brick house was lifted only twice since Saturday — to deliver the Tihar jail superintendent’s letter informing about Afzal’s execution and his last letter to his family.
When this correspondent visited the house on Wednesday, loud speakers were playing songs of freedom and martyrdom. At the sight of a mediaperson, people broke into protests, demanding that Afzal's body be handing over to the family.
The mood inside the house, however, was sombre. Sitting huddled among scores of women was Tabassum, Afzal's wife of 14 years. She kept staring at the people and refused to speak a word.
Her father Ghulam Mohammad Guru, who had taken away the couple’s 13-year-old son Ghalib to his home, said, “He (Ghalib) studies in Class 8 and has a long life ahead of him. How would I feel when media tries to ask him questions about his father’s hanging?”