Srinagar: Nadeem, 23, is a student of sociology. He said a “volcano burst inside me” on hearing news of Hizb commander Burhan Wani’s killing. He joined a protest that erupted in his village, in Kupwara district. The protest was stopped by government forces and the protesters, he said, started pelting forces with stones.
“It felt like embers were rubbed against my body,” Nadeem said of the dozens of pellets fired by the forces into the procession and that hit him in the body.
“Then were was darkness because many more hit my face. A few pellets have damaged my eye. I lay there for god knows how long. Then my friends brought me to the sub-district hospital where I regained consciousness,” Nadeem recalls at the SMHS Hospital’s opthalmology ward.
Doctors have operated upon his eye three times so far.
“I don’t regret anything. Once they discharge me I will continue the fight against tyraany. Increasingly I believe that the only solution to Kashmir is gun. They have killed 74 people so far. What have peaceful protests given us? Nothing,” he said.
“Look at the body language of Indian leaders. They are hell bent on occupying our land and killing its inhabitants,” he added.
Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, he said, are two faces of the same coin.
“If Mehbooba’s tears were real she would not have killed 74 youngsters To make people like her realize that she is committing grievous mistakes she needs to be taught a lesson. Most boys of my village were fed up with day-to-day oppression and wanted to get rid of it, even if means picking up arms,” said Nadeem.
Adil’s brother Nadeem echoes his sentiments.
“Zulm (oppression) is too much in our place. I think people need to prepare for a decisive battle. I have incurred huge losses in my business but I dont regret anything as I feel the sacrifices we are giving won’t be wasted and these sacrifices are for the greater goal of Azaadi,” he adds.
While pointing towards other pellet victims in the ward, Adil said “today’s youth understand the conflict well and hence are ready to lay their lives for the cause”.
“At our home my brothers and I discuss things every day and their reason for fighting the oppression with stones is quite clear,” he said.
The brothers favour resorting to gun again even though their father had been killed by militants in the 90s.
“Some of our enemies propagated lies about my father and got him killed by the militants. We have no grudges against the militants as they had been fed lies. We have respect for militants and armed struggle. They sacrifice our lives for us,” Nadeem said.