SRINAGAR: The body of 11-year-old Nasir Shafi who was allegedly killed by police on Friday evening in Theed area of Harwan was not buried the same evening but was kept in open air all night because the people of the area wanted journalists to see the injuries to his body before it was buried.
On Saturday morning when media persons arrived, almost 12 hours after Nasir’s death, he was laid to rest in the local graveyard.
In the past 71 days of the anti-India uprising, Theed and its surrounding areas have been continuously protesting but the protests have rarely been reported in media. According to locals, Saturday was the first day when journalists had come to the area.
“Yesterday when we received the martyr’s body, police had told us that Nasir had died because of an attack by a wild animal. It infuriated us because Nasir’s body was ridden with pellets. His hair had also been torn apart and there were marks of injuries on his chest. We collectively decided that we will bury the body only when journalists come and see the cause of death,” a local said.
New Theed has been an epicenter of protests in this uprising. Every day protests emanate from here and adjoining areas like Muftibagh, Barj, Dara, Sadapora, Chakdara, Fakir Gujri, Mulnar, Dharbagh, Syedpora, and Danihama. Dozens of people have been injured by government forces and their property ransacked.
“But this brutality was never reported. No media came here before. We believe our voice can only be represented by the local media and not by anybody else,” said an elderly man.
The movement of journalists has been restricted by troops on ground and information hard to come by due to the suspension of mobile phone and internet services. Except special internet lines, all types of internet services continue to be down.
In this situation, a number of locals in Theed area have taken upon themselves to record the protests and clashes with government troops. Taking along high-definition video cameras, locals have divided themselves into various areas to capture the protests. One of them in New Theed has recorded 12 hours of footage. He has on camera the scene of Nasir’s body being brought to his home, his funeral prayers and his burial. He has also recorded government forces attacking houses in the area.
Local people helped journalists reach the area on Saturday morning. While all the main routes were blocked by people with rocks, pipes and corrugated sheets to block passage of government forces, when this correspondent reached the area, locals asked him to get down at the main blockade. His bike was lifted on hands and carried across many barriers. An elderly man asked some youth to be with this correspondent all the while he was there. They first parked his vehicle at a safe location and then facilitated his meeting with local people.