SRINAGAR: The eyes of Fareeda Bhat- mother of 17-year old Umar Qayoom Bhat who was tortured to death in police custody during the summer agitation of 2010, have not dried up after passing of six years. When her son’s name is referred, tears start rolling down her pale face.
Observing the sixth martyrdom of their son, the family finds no sign of registering of an FIR against the accused responsible for the death of Umer, an 11th class student of Soura area. In continued mourning and sorrow, the smile has eluded her and she always mourns her lone son’s death. Seated in a room corner of her house, Fareeda waits for a day when perpetrators of her son’s custodial killing would be brought to justice.
Zahoor Ahmad Khan, they say, is the person responsible for their destruction. “He was a beast who tortured my son and didn’t take him to hospital which is few steps away from the police station,” Umer’s desolated father Abdul Qayoom Bhat said.
Bhat remembers the black day when his son was ruthlessly beaten-up by around six policemen near Sabzi market when he was returning home after offering Friday prayers in the local mosque. Sighed, Qayoom said “My son could have survived had those criminals in police station Soura taken his worsening heath condition seriously.”
“After hearing that painful news, I rushed to Soura police station where my son along with few others had been kept in the lock-up. I was terrified to see my son brutally assaulted and spitting blood in the lock-up. I cried and pleaded with the then SHO (Station House Officer) of police station Soura, Abdul Majid Malik that if they can’t release him at least take him to the hospital as his condition was worsening. But he refused and instead ordered me to leave lest I was put behind the bars,” Qayoom said.
He said that when his son was released on bail the next day and taken to nearby SKIMS hospital, doctors informed them the boy has been almost dead. “On 25th of August, my son breathed his last and left us with only miserable memories,” he said.
“He was just 17-year old and used to offer five prayers a day. He hardly went out unless he had some work to do. He never pelted a stone but he was mercilessly beaten and tortured to death by these criminals,” Qayoom said.
In the death summary report, the doctors at SKIMS who treated Umar reported: “17-year-old Bhat Umar son of Abdul Qayoom resident of Soura was admitted on 23-8- 2010 in A/E with chief compliant of vomiting of blood subsequent to allegedly beaten by cops four days ago. X-ray chest was showing bilateral diffuse infiltrates. CT scan chest was showing massive intrapulmonary haemorrhage. Both lungs were replaced with haemorrhage….in view of severe hypoxia patient was shifted to Special Intensive Care Unit for effective ventilation.”
Five years ago on July 27, 2011, the then CJM Srinagar had taken a strong exception to the delay and police functioning into the incident.
Yashpal Bourney, the then CJM Srinagar had ordered SSP Srinagar to personally supervise the probe and appoint a deputy superintendent of police who will investigate the circumstances which led to death of Umar Bhat. “The facts from the file reveal a sordid picture of how irresponsibly and irrationally state police is functioning,” the CJM Srinagar Yashpal Bourney, had stated.
Qayoom, nevertheless vows to fight and take the case to its logical end.
“I won’t lose hope and never did at any point. I will continue my struggle unless criminals are put behind the bars and justice is delivered to us. For us, we believe that justice is bound to be delivered one day,” Qayoom said. He said the family will go to the extent of selling everything in
pursuit of justice.