“I am Naseer Ahmad Wani. My mother-in-law, her name is Hajira, has been admitted to the ICU of SKIMS, Soura. On August 14, a big procession was on its way to Bandipora on the call of the resistance groups (Hurriyats had called for Referendum March). People had assembled at main chowk Nusoo (in district Bandipora, near Dar-ul-uloom Raheemiya). Our house is on the roadside. There was a face-off between the peaceful protesters and the waiting soldiers and police. I felt there would be a bloodbath. I and my wife Tahira went to a room where my two kids, aged 5 and 2, were playing with their grandmother (Hajira). It would have been around 10am. There was sloganeering and soon a teargas canister landed into our compound. Children cried because of the irritation caused by the gas. As I was washing their eyes, Hajira vomitted and collapsed. I tried washing her face and mouth with salt water but that didn’t help. I called a compounder who lives nearby. I had to climb neighbours’ walls to reach him as the police and soldiers were beating up everybody on the main road. He checked her blood pressure and told us to immediately rush her to hospital. Fearing the government forces’ wrath, I took her on my back through back door of our house. After walking some distance, a car stopped and the good samaritan brought us here (SKIMS). Mouj, mother (Naseer is married to Hajira’s only child, Tahira. Hajira never married after her husband died. After marriage, Naseer moved to her house and has been living there since) should survive.
(Hajira is in her early fifties. A doctor told Kashmir Reader on condition of anonymity that Hajira suffered brain hemorrhage due to suffocation caused by inhalationof excessive quantity of teargas. She has been operated upon once. Her condition is critical. Naseer took this reporter aside and said, “I am Rs 18,000 in debt. What shall I do now.”)
(Reader Correspondent Ubeer Naqushbandi interviewed Naseer at SKIMS)