‘Of eight siblings, Hilal was the only one who had a passion for studying’

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By Zia-ul-Islam
Harnag (Anantnag): Sitting in a corner of his single-storey old-fashioned house in TB village, Ali Mohammad Dar is grieving for the death of his 17-year-old son Hilal Ahmad, a Class 10 student who was shot dead by government forces last month in Harnag village near Srinagar-Jammu highway. Dar does not want to talk about how the forces killed his son. The only question he asks is, “Why did they kill my son?”
As Dar continued to ask only one question, his younger son Zubair Ahmad, 14, said that he was accompanying Hilal when forces shot him dead.
“I had a chest infection and Hilal accompanied me to a local medical shop that is located near the highway. On our return from the medical shop, as we turned towards our village road from the highway, we heard someone calling out and abusing us from behind. As soon as he looked back to see who was calling, the troops who were in a vehicle fired at him,” Zubair said.
He said that a bullet hit Hilal in his eye, leaving him in a pool of blood. Zubair cried for help but there was none. “I then took off my shirt and tried to plug his wound with it. Meanwhile a Santo car arrived which took him in. As soon as we put him in the car, police and CRPF men surrounded us and broke the window panes of the Alto car,” Zubair said.
On the way to hospital, Zubair said, CRPF men at several places hit the car with lathis. At the hospital, Hilal was declared brought dead.
On the way back, the ambulance with the dead body was again hit with gun butts and lathis all the way to Harnag, Zubair said.
Hilal’s elder brother Manzoor Ahmad Dar said Hilal was the first in the family to have a passion for studies. “We were eight siblings, five brothers and three sisters. Among us only Hilal had a love for studies. I and two brothers elder to him had given up studies in school. But to support Hilal, the entire family was encouraging him to keep studying,” said Manzoor.
“He also had a passion for sports, especially cricket. He had won many appreciation certificates and medals in different sports in school,” the bereaved elder brother said.

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