ISLAMABAD: As residents of Dera Bugti observe the 7th death anniversary of Nawab Akbar Bugti, a new controversy has erupted as heirs demand DNA samples be taken from the grave of the late politician to unfold the mystery of his ‘symbolic-grave.’
“My grandfather’s is just a symbolic-grave. The government must take DNA from it to ascertain the facts,” said Gohram Bugti, grandson of the late Akbar Bugti.
The demand came a month after some members of the Bugti family resettled in their hometown for the first time since the 2005 military operation in Dera Bugti.
Nawabzada Jamil Akbar Bugti also demanded that the government hand over the corpse of his father so that they could bury him according to their own customs.
The military had not shown the body of Bugti tribe’s chieftain, even to Maulvi Malook, the cleric who led his funeral prayers, locals told The Express Tribune. “We asked the provincial government to allow us to dig out his grave to know the facts—whether he is here in the grave erected in Dera Bugti graveyard or not,” he said.
“Malook has gone missing from Dera Bugti and there are rumours that he has been killed in an incident,” said Nawabdin Bugti, a private secretary to the late Nawab Akbar Bugti.
Maulana Raza Muhammad, the sitting cleric in Nawab Akbar Bugti Mosque and the then assistant to Maulvi Malook said they were not allowed by the military to unveil the shroud (coffin).
“We were not allowed to see the face of Nawab Bugti—the military performed all necessary rituals. Majority of people in Dera Bugti believe that the body was not Nawab Bugti,” he told The Express Tribune.
In its visit to Dera Bugti last month, The Express Tribune learnt that locals had not been allowed to attend funeral prayers of the people, who died in the 2005 military operation. In his exclusive interview with The Express Tribune, Maulana Raza Muhammad, the cleric in Nawab Akbar Bugti Mosque, revealed that dozens of graves were symbolically erected as bodies were still under the debris of trenches.
Balochistan’s Additional Advocate General Nasrullah Achakzai had also informed a superior court that Malook retracted his earlier statement, saying that “he did not see the face of Nawab Akbar Bugti as the body was in the coffin.”
“I [Malook] led the funeral prayers under severe pressure from former Dera Bugti District Coordination Officer Abdul Samad Lasi,” the statement Achakzai submitted to the court read.