Sumbal: While people were enthusiastically casting their votes in Markundal Sumbal, family of Irfan Ahmad Ganei 17, who was killed by the army in 2013, boycotted the election in protest.
Irfan was killed in cold blood, his uncle Abdul Rehman Ganai said, on the night of 29 June 2013 when he went to check the cattle in their cowshed. Several heads of cattle had been stolen those days, hence the vigil, Ganai said.
However, a patrol party of Rashtriya Rifles soldiers went up to the house and shot Irfan, triggering massive anti-India protests.
Ghulam Nabi Ganaie, Irfan’s father, said, “We voted in 2008 elections but when after his killing we stayed away as a mark of respect for thousands of others like us who have lost their dear ones,” he said.
Irfan’s mother broke down while recalling the tragedy.
“Had he been killed in stone pelting or while carrying out any other anti-state activity we could have reconciled and still voted but he was killed in cold blood on the doorsteps of his house. How could I not feel the pain of those who suffer like me,” she said.
A 12th standard student, Irfan, according to family, died on the spot after receiving bullets in his abdomen, head and arms.
“We were not able to rush Irfan to hospital as the soldiers continued firing for about 10 minutes till Irfan breathed his last,” Ghulam Nabi said, adding Irfan’s body remained outside the house for whole night.
“The troopers didn’t even allow us to take the body,” said Irfan’s uncle Rehman.