Partition violence survivor dies in Srinagar

Srinagar: A woman, who had fled to Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK) to survive the genocide of Muslims in Jammu region during Partition, has died at Srinagar, where she had come to meet her daughters.
76-year-old Bilqees Begum, wife of late Baba Ghulam Rasool Bhat of Naya Mohalla, ward No. 19, Muzaffarabad, passed away at Baghat, Rawatpora, where she was staying with her daughter and son-in-law after arriving in the Valley on July 21 through the cross-LoC bus, the family said Sunday.
Bilqees was on a month-long visit to this part of Kashmir along with her son Altaf Hussain and his wife Atiqa. She had planned to celebrate Eid with two of her daughters, who were married to Kashmiri men in late ‘90s.
“She was happy in Kashmir with all of us. On Saturday evening, she felt uneasy, and an hour later she spoke to her another son in Muzaffarabad through telephone. We rushed her to the nearby hospital, where doctors pronounced her dead,” Bilqees’s son-in-law, Mohammad Yasin Parray, told Kashmir Reader.
Bilqees, who was living with her father Raja Farman Ali in Gujjar Nagar area of Jammu, migrated to PaK during Partition that saw the massacre of tens of thousands of Muslims in Jammu region. Her father was then a Subedar in Maharaja’s army. After her father’s demise in PaK, her uncle Noor Mohammad Bhat went there to bring her to Kashmir. However, due to some unavoidable situation, he couldn’t return home. He also died in Muzaffarabad last year.
After her father’s death, Bilqees married Baba Ghulam Rasool Bhat, who was then working as an excise officer and was posted at Chakoti. She gave birth to four daughters and two sons before her husband passed away.
As her daughters grew up, Bilqees got two of them married to Kashmiri men, belonging to Kullar, Pahalgam, and Baghat, Srinagar in November 1998. She was very attached to her daughters. In Srinagar, three of her sister-in-laws have lived and died, while one is still alive.
“Despite not being physically strong, she was keen to visit Kashmir to meet her daughters. She was very attached to her daughters. Two of her sons, Tariq Rasool Bhat and Khalid Rasool Bhat, and two daughters, are still in PaK,” said Ashiq Hussain, her other son-in-law.
Bilqees’s son, Altaf told Kashmir Reader that his mother was very enthusiastic since the day they decided to visit Kashmir
“She had planned to celebrate Eid with her daughters. Today, we were supposed to go to Kullar to meet my sister Mehjabeen and her husband Ashiq Hussain. However, Allah had something else in store for her,” he said.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people participated in her funeral prayers. She was laid to rest at her son-in-law’s ancestral graveyard at Baghat.