As the bodies of the terror suspects — Atif and Sajjid — were being readied for autopsy at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, six sets of graves at three different cemeteries were being dug up. It wasn’t clear which one Delhi Police would approve.
Finally, at 8.15 pm, the bodies were handed over peacefully to the relatives in the presence of Imam Ahmed Bukhari of Jama Masjid, as wished by the families of the slain terror suspects.
The last rites took place at a heavily guarded burial ground in Nizamuddin. More than 200 residents turned up for the janaza, the burial ritual, as scores of policemen kept a close watch.
Asked if he knew the dead youths, a resident said: “Like a majority of the people here, I didn’t know them. We have come because attending burials is a religious obligation.”
The brother of one of the slain terror suspects, Rais (name changed) did not speak but his friend Ameek Jamiee told HT that the relatives wanted a burial at Jamia, which was turned down by the police.
Samajwadi Party member Wasim Ghazi, who oversaw the burial services, said the Jamia graveyard was ready by 4 pm. As the police did not agree to it, Ghazi homed in on two other sites — Dilli Gate and Nizamuddin.
The handover was delayed by a couple of hours over sharp differences between residents — who wanted the relatives’ choice of site to be allowed — and the police.
A section of residents led by former councillor Asif Khan confronted the police, demanding that the wishes of the relatives be respected.
The issue was resolved after several Muslim leaders, including Bukhari, said the burial should take place as ordered by the police.
Many representatives of key bodies like Jamaat Islami Hind, Majlis-e-Mushawarat and Jamia Residents’ Coordination Committee attended the burial.