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Tarthpora family’s cry in despair: Why army killed our son, our breadwinner

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Kupwara: The silence in the room, with walls and wardrobe awash with Islamic posters, was deafening except for occasional muffled whimpers.

Bashir Ahmad Mir, grieving father of 21-year-old Shahid Ahmad Mir, who was killed by army allegedly in fake encounter, could not hold his tears as he talked about the inhuman killing of his only son, the sole breadwinner of his family comprising four sisters besides parents.

“I am a carpenter. Last year, I went into coma for one and half months following an accident and I had two head surgeries. The treatment cost was around Rs 12 lakhs. My family begged for my treatment. I can no more work. Shahid was the only hope of my life,” Bashir told INS.

Shahid, says Bashir, was preparing for prestigious Indian administrative service while he was doing a job to support family.

“He would always tell me not to worry and our destiny will change soon,” says Bashir. “I never ever thought that the destiny was going to change.”

Shahid, recalls Bashir, would recite Quran all the time and offer prayers on time.

                                                                           (Names of Allah with meanings, written by Shahid)

“He was helping me in every way. He got grade-A marks in every subject. I was sure that he will change our lives for better. He was a very hard working. He left all of us alone in this hell,” Bashir says and broke down.

Shahid, a resident of Mir Mohalla Tarthpora was killed in alleged fake encounter by army during the night between 21 and 22 August near Hafrad forest in Vilgam Handwara.

Gulshada, Shahid’s mother is shock and trauma. She would barely speak. Tears continue to trickle her face.

“At 4:00 pm (on fateful day), Shahid left home to buy juice. Usually he would go for evening walk. When Shahid did not return till evening, I went to nearby Mosque, he was not there. I returned and kept watching through window and kept asking neighbours about him,” she says.  As Shahid was nowhere in sight, she says, family started search for him.

“We searched whole village and called all the relatives. In morning, I went to the forest in search but someone told me not to go inside as an encounter is going on and few militants have killed,” She says.  “I was not aware that they have killed my son so I returned,” she says.  The family searched for two days but to no avail.

“On the third day morning, his father along with my other relatives went to police station Vilgam to lodge an FIR about my missing son. In the evening, people started visiting my house and my heart was thumbing. After few minutes, my son’s dead body was in front of me,” she says and whimpers.  She is also overwhelmed by another anxiety—how to feed the family.

Fond of writing and reading, Shahid mostly used to write Hadees and Arabic literature in his personal dairy, says one among his four sisters.

“Bhajana where are you? Whom I will call Bhajana now? I have lost everything. Come and see my new book which I bought on your suggestion,” cries Ishrat, Shahid’s sister.

“He would help me in every work. He was the only ray of hope. My father is not in a position to work. Now who will look after us? Who will teach me? Bhajana come back,” she says.

Apart from religious activities, Shahid was keenly interested in playing cricket. He was an all-rounder, his cousin and team mate.

“I have never seen a person like him. Whenever he would come to my home, we used to enjoy a lot.”

Adil Hussain, Shahid’s friend recalls that whenever I sought to meet him, he was in his room “busy with studies.

“He would occasionally come to home and take books from me. He was very fond of writing in Arabic. He was very keen about Nimaz (prayers) and I have never seen a pious person like him in my life,” he says.

                                                                                                    (Drawing made by Shahid)

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