KULGAM: At the entrance of the tent erected a few metres away from the debris of his house razed to ground by the forces during an encounter on Sunday, aged Abdul Aziz Reshi is consoling a young wailing girl, a close relative.
As the girl remains inconsolable, bringing tears to Lone’s eyes, a group of youth and the elderly take him inside the tent.
The sobbing Lone, before entering the tent, looks at the debris of his house. He sits silently in a corner as neighbours and relatives console him.
After a few minutes, Lone utters only three words: “We are shattered”.
Lone, besides losing his home, also lost his elder son Ishfaq Ahmed Reshi to the nightlong encounter.
Ishfaq, 38, a daily wager in PHE, had been married only four years ago and has a two-year-old daughter.
In his death, locals say they have not only lost an imam but the noblest soul of the locality.
“It is not only the family that has lost its caretaker but we have lost the one who lead the prayers. He would not only lead the prayers in a local masjid but would devote most of the time in Islamic activities. He would go home to home for the collection of funds for Masjid,” said his neighbor Tanveer Ahmad.
Ishfaq, a graduate, according to his another neighbour Nazir Ahmad, was the most god-fearing soul of the locality.
“He would always insist that Masjid has to be taken care of more than our homes. He commanded great respect in the locality because of his character and manners. People would seek advice from him regarding personal or other issues,” Ahmad told Kashmir Reader.
Arshad Wani, Ishfaq’s neighbour, paid tributes to him on a social networking site in these words:
“My brother, my friend, my peer, my fellow, my neighbour, my school mate. By which name and relation I call u. we have been together for entire life, we used to talk n listen,share n care, consult n disscuss issues from domestic to ideological, private to public. You were my imam in masjid. You were always concerned about the Tehreek (freedom movement), you sacrificed your life for it. You left me midway. Have u really left, i m looking for you. U will surely b in heaven. How is it there? You might have been greeted by angels, other martyrs and Ahle-Jannah. Please tell them about this suppressed but resilient nation.”
“You have taken a lead. You left me without a single notice and put a scar on my heart. We shall meet, we have to meet. MY MARTYR.”