Khanabal: When Gowhara Jan got married in July last year at the age of 28, she must not have known that she will turn a widow just before becoming a mother.
Gowhara’s husband Imtiyaz Ahmad Mandoo was shot dead by CRPF troopers on July 9, the day after Burhan Wani was killed in Kokernag area of the district. Gowhara is in her sixth month of pregnancy. Since the day of her husband’s killing, she is in such shock that she will neither speak nor hear of the tragedy.
“Please don’t talk to her about what has befallen her. She will again start crying,” appealed relative and neighbour Javed Ahmad.
“The forces have not only widowed a young woman but have also orphaned an unborn child. There can be no worse tragedy for a woman,” Ahmad said.
The thought that haunts Gowhara is that she could not even have a last glimpse of her husband before he was laid to rest. A few days before her husband was killed, she had gone to her parents’ home to take rest on the advice of a gynaecologist.
Ahmad said that army did not allow him to reach Imtiyaz’s home to convey the news of his death to his wife. “When I heard that Imtiyaz had been declared dead by doctors, I rushed towards Qazigund in my car to bring Gowhara here. But at Vesoo, army soldiers did not allow me to move an inch ahead,” Ahmad said.
Despite explaining the emergency to army men and indeed begging before them, they did not allow him to go, Ahmad said.
He managed to come to Khanabal at 11pm when thousands of people were waiting for the jinaza.
“Since a large number of people had gathered for jinaza, we buried him at 11:30pm without waiting for his wife,” Mohammad Ashraf Mandoo, the uncle of the deceased, said.
Braving the restrictions, Gowhara managed to reach her home at 4am in the morning.
Imtiyaz, family members said, was shot dead by CRPF men when he was sitting on a shop front outside his house.
“He was a few meters from his house, waiting for the Maghrib Azan (evening call for prayers). The CRPF men came and without any provocation fired at him. For six to seven minutes they did not allow anyone to come near the body and remove him,” Ashraf Mandoo told Kashmir Reader.
Ashraf said that he finally mustered courage to rush towards the body, shouting at CRPF men to empty all their magazines at him. “They fled from the spot when I shouted and offered my chest to the bullets,” Ashraf said.
As Ashraf was narrating the cruelty of CRPF troops, the mother of the deceased came in and sat in a corner. After a few minutes she broke her silence. “Yimaw tchun saenis khanas doonth. Yi wuchtaw yi bachee yi kya kari waen (The soldiers have darkened our home. What will this girl (her daughter-in-law) do now?” she said.
Will she accept the government’s compensation, if given? The mother replied: “Na Na aes kenaw ne tamsund khoon Kenh agar tim crore ti din. Khudai gachi tamsenz shahadat qabool Karun (No we won’t sell his blood even if they give one crore. Allah should accept his shahadat)”.
Her younger son, Javed, interrupted her, speaking himself, ‘Will these people (politicians) accept money if their children are murdered? I will give them my every belonging if they return my brother.”