By Rais Ibn Jabbar
SRINAGAR: “Danish called me to pick him up. But when I reached the spot, I had to receive his dead body,” Yawar Mir, a cousin of Danish, recollects.
Danish Rasool Mir, 19-year-old son of Ghulam Rasool Mir of Mungam, Baramulla, was killed in August during the ongoing anti-India uprising.
A salesman, Danish had gone to Sopore to return keys of the shop where he had been working for the last three years. On the fateful August 5evening, three days after he had left his village, he was returning home.
“He called on his father’s cell-phone and told him that he would be home by evening,” Adil, another of his cousins, said.
However, only the news of his killing reached his home after magrib prayers, and the entire Kandi area, which has been unknown to civilian killings in all recent uprisings in Kashmir, was shocked.
“Danish was not a part of protests or throwing stones; he was walking under a bridge near Bypass Batpora in Sopore town when pellets hit his back and his head was struck by a shell,” one of his relatives said. “When he fainted and fell on ground, forces threw stones at him. There were scars visible on his face.”
On August 5, his funeral was held at his parental aunt’s residence in Batpora, before his body was brought to his village for burial. Additional funerals were held in his native village before he was finally laid to rest.
“Never before have I seen such an ocean of people attending a funeral. At least, 30,000 people participated in his funeral prayers-in-absentia. I think the entire Kandi area was present,” said Adil.
Danish’s friend remembers him as a “loving, loyal boy”, who always wanted to help his father and family in every way possible.
Danish was scheduled to get engaged after Eid-ul-Fitr, but the event was postponed after the uprising erupted on July 8, the third day of the Muslim festival.
Now, his father wants to fight for “justice”.
“He was not a part of protests, then why did they kill him? I will get his death investigated and fight for justice till my last breath,” Ghulam Rasool Mir said.
Danish was the only son of his parents, who have three daughters as their other children.
His paternal aunt, with whom he had been living for the last one year, said he wanted to talk to her mother and asked for Rs 50.
“I gave him the money. We don’t know what happened to him after that,” she said.
His mother, Refiqa Begum, laments: “He wanted to talk to me, but it could not happen. For him, something went unsaid; for me, something remained unheard.”
“His killers should meet the same fate,” she added.
Danish was the second victim of government forces in his family. Earlier, in ‘90s, the forces tortured his grandfather, who lost his mental balance and died in 2003.