Akhran Nawpora (Kulgam): A few days before Rasiq Ahmad was declared dead at the SKIMS, Soura, on 15 September, his father Mohammad Yusuf Bhat was called into the office of the Director SKIMS and told that chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s uncle Sartaj Madni and her cousin Sajjad Mufti wanted to meet him. The duo had come with an offer Bhat said he found “obscene”.
Rasiq, 22, was injured when government forces fired pellets at him during a protest on 5 September in Kulgam. He went into coma.
Bhat and his elder son Dildar Ahmad Bhat told Kashmir Reader that on September 8 a SKIMS staffer told them that the Director SKIMS wanted to meet them in his office.
“He said it was about Rasiq’s condition. When we entered the office we were surprised to see Sajjad Mufti and one more guy sitting there. For nearly half an hour Sajjad talked about Mufti Sayeed’s role and how he gave his life for welfare of people. I listened to him patiently,” said Bhat.
“I then told him politely if I can speak. I spoke for half an hour on Kashmir issue. They were least interested in what I said. Then Sajjad Mufti took out a packet from his pocket and said ‘Baji has sent you this gift of Rs 10 lakh,” he added.
Bhat said he flatly refused Sajjad’s offer to meet Mehbooba Mufti at her residence.
Sajjad came to the hospital on September 11 again, this time along with Sartaj Madni.
“They again offered money and wanted me to issue a misleading statement against Hurriyat leaders and declare that my son was not involved in stone pelting. I clearly told them my son was a jihadist and he wanted Kashmir liberated from India.
Let him die for this cause?” Bhat said.
“I told them I would give you 50 lakh rupees if you can make my son speak only once. They shamelessly tried to persuade me into trading my son’s sacred blood. I clearly told them that my son was leading the protests and sacrificed for his life for the noble cause,” Bhat told Kashmir Reader.
The duo, Bhat said, also offered a well-paid job for his elder son.
“Sartaj, who jails from our village, also wanted me to ensure the security of his house (in case of imminent outrage over Rasiq’s death,” Bhat said.
Sartaj is the general secretary of PDP and Sajjad the party’s coordinator for south Kashmir.
“It stunned me. I was grieving for my son and they were least bothered about it. Their homes were more important than the life of my son. It appeared their conscience is dead. They were using money and power to buy me,” Bhat said.
Bhat said once the family completes the 40th day of mourning, they will “again join the protests.”
The father says that Rasiq actually succumbed on September 10 and hospital authorities delayed the announcement of his death “under political pressure.”
“I saw no life in my son after 10 September. I requested doctors to hand over his body if he has died but they never heeded my request,” he said.
On 15 September, Rasiq’s body reached the village at 7pm.
Bhat said, “They fired teargas into the procession that erupted when the body reached here. We were not allowed to take the body home. Next day they fired teargas on the funeral procession and injured many people. Four others were detained. They don’t want peace but the blood of our sons,” he said.
Director SKIMS, Soura Dr AG Ahangar denied he met the family or Madni at his office.
“I have no idea about it. It is the business of hospital administration,” he said.
Former Medical Superintendent Dr Farooq Jan, who was holding the charge that time, said Madni did not meet him but met Ahangar in his office.
Sajjad Mufti also denied visiting the hospital claiming, he “never” visited that hospital in his lifetime.
“I was in Jammu and came today only,” he said