Atta Muhammad Khan-The Gravedigger

Atta Mohd Khan Gravedigger in Kashmir

He has buried over an estimate of 235 bruised, defaced and tortured bodies. The graveyard is still chock-full of unidentified and nameless graves.

In a state of turmoil, violence and chaos, every person has a story to relay. Known for burying bodies of tortured, bruised and martyred, Atta Muhammad Khan was a resident of Chahal Bimbyar village in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

“One day the police brought two bodies. Both the corpses had torture marks and bruises. I could see their bones. Even today, after so many years, I remember looking at those bodies. It was painful to witness all that. They looked like twin brothers in their early 20s. When I returned home after burying them, I couldn’t stop weeping. Almost everyone in my village started calling me a police agent. But this never stopped me from burying the nameless dead. How could I let the bodies decay by not burying them?”

Khan, basically a farmer, played a significant role in identifying unmarked graves through the release of a report on mass graves by the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP). Ever since he has been a household name in the Valley. He died at the age of 73 in Jan 2016. (Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilahi Raji-oon)

Img source: Daily Mail

Here is the beautiful poem written by Khawaja Musadiq in memory of Atta Mohammad:

Poem by Khawaja Musadiq

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