BANDIPORA: On the last day of Ramzan, a passenger bus stopped near Shilwat village on the Bandipora-Srinagar road. No one saw the bus coming to a stop; locals only saw, later, that an empty bus was standing still on the road, one of its tyres deflated. People saw the bus and they smiled, for it was an auspicious sight on the eve of Eid: on the top of the front windshield, as if on the forehead of the bus, was painted the banner name: Burhan Wani. Eid came and went but the bus stood where it had stopped. The next day, late in the evening, news came that Burhan Wani had been killed, in Bamdora in Kokernag. The Burhan Wani bus is still standing where it had stopped.
No one has come to take it away, no one has gone to remove it from its place. Abdul Karim, a resident of Shilwat village, said that nobody knows who the owner of the bus is. Since the bus has been standing there, a second tyre, too, has deflated.
Abdul Karim said that no one has enquired about the bus and no one has come to replace the deflated tyre. On the bus is no mention of where it was heading and where it was coming from.
A youth who lives in Shilwat said that the registration number of the bus is not clear from what is written on the plate. There is also no telephone or mobile number mentioned anywhere in the bus, nor any name of a transport company, which could indicate or help trace its owner.
JK05A is written on the registration plate but the rest of the number is not clearly visible. It is a commercial vehicle, though, as the registration number is written in yellow.
Many vehicles have been damaged in the unrest that has followed Burhan Wani’s killing, but this bus has remained untouched.
“No one dares to touch this vehicle. No one has even reported the presence of this vehicle to the police,” Karim said. “We are waiting for the owner to arrive.”
Karim said that there is a possibility that the owner of the bus may be a kin to the slain militant commander.
“There are many who have the name Burhan and many have the same caste Wani too,” he said.
Karim pointed out that curfew and the tense situation may be the reason why the owner has not come to the spot to take away his bus.