Hajin: A winding muddy lane leads to Dar-ul-Awam, the House of People. In the courtyard there is a grave wherein Mohammad Yusuf Parray alias Kuka Parray, the once overlord of Ikhwani terror, is interred.
Fearing that people’s anger might extend beyond his death, Kuka was buried in his home complex. His son and Congress candidate for Sonawari constituency, Imtiyaz Parray, is trying hard to shed the bloody legacy off his shoulders.
The first step in that direction was giving up Awami League, the party his father had founded. Kuka was elected to the assembly from Sonawari seat in 1996 as Awami League candidate.
“It was my father who founded it. But the party disintegrated after his death. Its leaders could not maintain unity because of communication gap,” Imtiyaz told Kashmir Reader.
“In 2008, I contested as Awami League candidate but to be honest the party had no agenda,” he said.
In his recent election meetings, Imtiyaz apologised for his father’s “mistakes”, which include killings, harassment, torture and extortion.
“At that time it was one gun versus another gun and we are the victims of the gun. I know gunmen used to harass people but I am not responsible for that,” he said, while openly charging Rashid Billa, his father’s friend and self-styled chief commander of Ikhwan for the “killing of seven members of a family”.
Imtiyaz sees no career outside of politics. To build rapport with a people persecuted by his father, he is making “right noises”.
“Killings of innocent people should be investigated. Why was NC block president Maqbool Parra killed? Militants wouldn’t have killed him,” he said.
In fact, Imtiyaz accuses his rival and NC MLA Akbar Lone of “sheltering former Ikhwani commanders”
“I might be killed for being Kuka Parray’s son but nobody will kill me for being Imitiyaz Parray,” he said.