Srinagar, Feb. 17: Afzal Guru’s last letter to his family was less than 80 words long.
Written in Urdu, it begins with the Quranic verse: “In the name of Allah the most merciful and most beneficent.”
The letter is addressed to his “family” and the “believers” and bears the time and date on top — 6.25am, February 9.
Afzal was hanged at 8am, an hour and a half later.
“I am extremely thankful to Almighty Allah who has chosen me for this stature. I congratulate all the believers who stand for truth and righteousness. Let us die (in the path) of truth and righteousness,” a translation of the handwritten letter reads.
“I earnestly request my family not to have regrets over my death but they should respect this status (of martyrdom) of mine,” it goes on.
He ends with a prayer: “Allah is your protector and helper… Allah Hafiz (May Allah protect you).”
Afzal had handed the letter to the superintendent of Tihar jail, whose covering letter is attached with it.
The family received the letter some days back but released it today.
“The letter clearly shows his determination in his last moments. It gave us strength to face the tragedy,” Afzal’s elder brother Aijaz Guru told The Telegraph today.
“Lot of people wrote lot of things about the contents of this letter and there was wild speculation. Many of these things grieved us, like when someone reported that he had asked his family to take care of his wife and his son after him. He never said these words during the last 12 years of his detention. Why should he say it just moments before his death?”
Aijaz said they were in mourning and could not release the letter immediately. “It is not just addressed to the family but all Kashmiris,” he said.
The letter was released on the day the architect of the “Save Afzal Guru” resolution and independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rasheed alias Engineer Rasheed proposed renaming the historic Lal Chowk in Srinagar as Afzal Guru Chowk. He also announced he would move a resolution in the coming Assembly session seeking the return of Afzal’s remains.