Adil had called father during gunfight and willed that he should be buried next to his militant friend
By SHAFAT MIR / ZIA-UL-HAQ
ANANTNAG: When police and army men laid a cordon around Awoora village in Pahalgam Sunday evening, social media was abuzz with the rumour that 23-year-old Aadil Reshi, a household name in his hometown Bijbehara, was among the trapped militants.
According to a police source, Reshi was the last among the trio of militants to be killed, in the wee hours of Monday morning. One of his friends present at his funeral said that Reshi’s body bore multiple bullet marks. One bullet mark was on the head; the friend said that Reshi may have charged at the government troops.
Reshi came from an affluent business family. His father, Mushtaq Ahmed Reshi, owns many businesses including several shopping complexes in Bijbehara town, where his family is currently residing. He also has a successful construction material business and a carpet factory.
Aadil was the youngest of four brothers, and elder to two sisters. He was laid to rest at his ancestral village, Hussainpora.
People were seen travelling on foot to reach Bijbehara, avoiding or walking through the snow-blocked roads on which no traffic was visible. “I travelled a distance of six kilometers from Khudwani area of Kulgam district to take part in his funeral,” said a youth present in the gathering.
Last week, the police had raided his uncle’s house in Tulkhun Semthan area of Bijbehara town, after a video of him and other militants was released on social networking sites.
Abbas Ahmed Dar, one of his cousins, said, “As the encounter was on, Aadil called his father at midnight and asked him to pray for him and his associates. He told his father that there was no way to break the cordon. He also asked his family to bury him next to his friend, Aadil Sheikh, along with whom he had joined militant ranks on 16th June 2015.”
Aadil Sheikh was killed a few months after that date, in an encounter in Siligam village of Anantnag district in November 2015, along with two other militants.
“He left home on 16th June 2015 for a leisure trip to Pahalgam and at about 9:30 in the night he switched off his phone when his family was repeatedly calling him because he hadn’t yet returned home. The next day, police came to his house and informed his family that he had joined militant ranks,” said another cousin, Shamim Ahmed Reshi.
“After completing his graduation from Degree College Anantnag, Aadil went to Chandigarh to do a six-month diploma course in electronics. After finishing the course, he returned home and six months later he left behind everything to join the militants,” Abbas said.
“He used to move around in his personal Scorpio SUV even when he was not doing anything. He had every luxury at his disposal but still he preferred to die for his people,” said one of his friends.
“It came as a shock to the entire family when we came to know of his joining the militant ranks. He was a calm person who had no previous police record, of any sort, and no political affiliations,” Abbas said.
Another of the militants slain on Monday, Abid Ahmed Sheikh of Satkipora, is remembered by his friends and classmates as humble, bold, and ardent reader of Islamic literature.
Belonging to a downtrodden family, Abid had left his studies in Class 12 to join militant ranks more than a year ago. “He would read a lot of Islamic literature and would often ask the students in school to read beyond their syllabus books. Even teachers loved and respected him for his Islamic knowledge,” said one of his classmates.
Abid was the only son of his father. According to people of Satkipora, he commanded great respect in the village.
“At such a young age he would often deliver the Friday sermons in our village Jamia Masjid. In his sermons he always talked of slavery and free life,” said one of his neighbours.
A teacher of Abid in his higher secondary school described him as a bold character and a freedom lover.
“Once an army officer came to our school and started interacting with students. As the army officer began talking about some Sadbhavana programmes, Abid countered him by saying that Kashmiris want Azadi from Indian occupation and the Sadbhavna programmes are only meant to strengthen the occupation,” the teacher said.
The third slain militant, Masood Ahmad Shah of Bewoora village, had joined militant ranks one-and-a-half year ago. He belonged to a very poor family.
Survived by an ailing father and two brothers, Masood was running a bread shop at Satkipora before he left to join militant ranks. “He was living with his father while his two brothers were living separately. After picking up the gun, his wife also sought divorce from him,” said his neighbour.
Masood, according to a police official, had managed to escape cordons several times before.
“Only last month, when a militant from Marhama, Basit Rasool, was killed, Masood had managed to escape by resorting to indiscriminate firing,” the police official told Reader.