A day after union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde rejected the demand of handing over the body of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru, his family in Kashmir on Tuesday vowed to continue its fight till the end.
Apparently determined to take the union government head on for getting the remains of Guru, who was executed and buried inside the Tihar jail on February 9, the family said its struggle has not ended.
"He had a love for his land. He sacrificed himself for this soil and we will make sure to bring him back to this soil," said Guru's cousin, Yasin Guru.
"Violating all norms of humanity, they killed him in secret. We were not expecting that the so called biggest democracy of the world will stoop so low to even deny him a burial in Kashmir," Yasin said.
Kashmir has been on the edge since Guru's execution in Tihar for his alleged role in Parliament attack 11 years ago, which killed 14 persons, including five gunmen who stormed the building.
In the aftermath of the execution on February 9, four youths, including two teenagers, have been killed in clashes with security forces in the Valley. A man allegedly injured by stone throwers succumbed to his injuries on Monday night.
The family of Guru were not informed in advance about his execution triggering more anger in the Muslim majority state.
The family had written to the union home ministry, demanding that his body be handed over to them amid support from all political parties - mainstream as well as separatists - of the state.
The relative of Guru said the family had decided to explore other options to confront the home ministry's decision.
"We are in touch with our lawyers in Delhi as well as in Srinagar. Nothing has been finalised as yet," Yasin said.
"Leaving everything aside, it was a human issue and Delhi did not care to respect the wishes of his near ones," he stated.
People have reserved an empty grave for Guru at the Martyr's Graveyard in Srinagar. The epitaph mentions him as "martyr of the homeland".
"His body lies as a trust with the Government of India," it reads.