By A Aalim Ahmad
Tral: The Martyrs’ Graveyard at Tral, where Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was buried, is the most visited place these days.
The graveyard was carved out of a portion of the expansive Eidgah 27 years ago when the body of a Pulwama militant arrived from the Line of Control. About 50 militants– local and non-locals—besides civilians are buried in the graveyard.
After Burhan was interned here, the graveyard has turned into a memorial. The grave of Burhan and the grave of his elder brother Khalid, who was killed in a staged encounter on April 13, 2015, are separated by that of Younis Ahmad Ganai, whose body had been found in a nearby forest a day after Khalid’s killing.
The graves have been earmarked with loose, rope fencing with green flags fixed to the poles.
Some visitors have sprayed flower petals on Burhan’s grave whose surface has been firmed up with the green turf extracted from the Eidgah surface. The measure was taken after it was found that people had been picking up loose soil from the grave as tabarruk, a blessed object.
The 35-kanal Eidgah is wide open after the chain-link fencing collapsed on July 9, when tens of thousands of people offered funeral prayers.
In fact, locals said, they were surprised to find that the hump of the grave had disappeared the next day.
“I saw many people filling their pockets with the soil on the grave. Others put it in envelopes before leaving for their homes,” said Muhammad Ashraf, a local resident.
Burhan’s father said he has been “humbled by the love people have shown towards Mujahideen”.
“I scolded people for taking soil from the grave because grave worshipping is prohibited in Islam but they would not listen to me,” he said.
Abdul Rashid, who participated in Burhan’s funeral, said the people started picking soil from his grave soon after the vault in the grave was dug. Some picked a pinch, others more, he said.
“I have never seen such a thing even though I have seen burials of scores of militants or pious men,” he said.
Salim Ahmad, a private employee who also took soil from Burhan’s grave said, “Martyrs are the purest people. This soil will keep evil away from my home.”
Mohammad Amin, a local, said another interesting thing he witnessed was that people eager to toss soil into the pit of the grave—a ritual considered a good deed in Islam— were asked to throw only small quantities so that most people would get a chance to perform the ritual.
“Even when they picked up a pinch of soil, the grave got filled in no time,” Amin said.