Muslim graveyard refuses to bury terrorists in Mumbai

News article, posted 03.24.2010, from India, in:
Source:
Times Online
A Muslim graveyard in the heart of Mumbai has broken with Islamic tradition and refused to bury the bodies of nine terrorists who were killed during the attack on India's financial capital. The influential Muslim Jama Masjid Trust, which runs the 7.5-acre Badakabrastan graveyard, said it would not bury the gunmen because they were not true followers of Islam.

Hanif Nalkhande, a spokesman for the trust, said: "People who committed this heinous crime cannot be called Muslim. Islam does not permit this sort of barbaric crime." At least ten gunmen killed nearly 200 people in a series of coordinated attacks that began on Wednesday evening and swept south Mumbai. The strikes targeted two luxury hotels, the city's main train station, a hospital and a Jewish centre.

Over three days, the Indian security forces killed nine terrorists and captured a tenth. The bodies of the nine dead gunmen now lie in a morgue awaiting last rites. The sole surviving militant - Azam Amir Kasab, 21, a Pakistani national - is being questioned by police. According to leaked details of the interrogation, he said that he and his fellow the terrorists were indoctrinated by being shown images of "atrocities on Muslims in India".

Unclaimed bodies thought to be Muslim are traditionally given to the nearest Islamic graveyard for burial after three days but that now looks impossible in Mumbai. There are seven other Muslim graveyards in Mumbai, but the Jama Masjid's influence means none of the others are likely to accept the bodies.

India has a history of bloody clashes between its minority Muslim community and Hindus, who account for about 80% of the population. Police are now unsure what to do with the bodies, as officers do not believe anyone will claim the gunmen's corpses. Jain Sirmukadam, a senior police inspector, said: "The gunmen must be buried because we are bound to see that their last rites are performed according to the religion they follow. We have heard the trust's decision. We are considering what to do now."

Mr Nalkhande from the trust said that several Islamic scholars had backed the body's decision. However, one Islamic scholar, Maulauna Zubair Ahmed, said that even terrorists must be given a proper burial under Sharia