Sana Fazili and Ruwa Shah
On the first day of new school session, son of parliament attack convict Afazl Guru who was hanged to death inside New Delhi’s Tihar prison on February 9, failed to show up.
While young pupils prepared themselves for the first day of school after 100 day long winter break, Guru’s son Ghalib, a student of 4th standard at Welkin Educational Institute, Sopore, missed the school.
At the peak of protests that spread across the valley after Guru’s hanging, the picture of Ghalib mounted on his uncle’s shoulder attending a protest against his father’s hanging became almost iconic.
Everybody at Ghalib’s school was curious about his absence. Talking to Kashmir Life over phone Ghalib’s uncle Yasin Guru said, “He will go to school within a few days.”
With the spring sun out, young kids in perfectly ironed neat school uniforms carrying fancy bags and happy to be out of their curfewed localities filled school grounds across Kashmir. They were happy to be amongst their friends. Yet a house in Doabgah village of Baramullah District, where Ghalib lives, missed the buzz of this school reunion.
Unlike others Ghalib’s mother Tabassum did not prepare his new uniform. She did not polish his shoes for the morning, his books lie forgotten in a corner and his lunch box untouched somewhere in the kitchen.
In August 2012, during their last meeting, Guru reportedly told his son to work hard and try to be a good human being. He had asked him to pursue his studies with interest and earn respect from the society.