By Nusrat Sidiq
Sriangar: Waqar Ahmad Moharkan, 24, has been visiting courts often these days in connection with as many as 20 FIRs police have filed against him during last year’s uprising. He has been granted bail in three of these. In January he had been released after five-month-long imprisonment under Public Safety Act at Kot Bhalwal jail. He said he “loved Indian once”.
“The word India now makes me mad,” he told this reporter inside lower court premises where he had filed for bail in a case.
The transformation occurred one day during the 2008 uprising.
“We used to live at Balgarden till 2010. That day the government announced curfew has been lifted and at about 5.30pm I went to buy milk. I reached Kani Kadal petrol pump on my bike and I was stopped by CRPF troopers,” said Waqar.
“I greeted them politely. I told them curfew has been lifted and I had to buy milk. There were about 12 of them there. They encircled me and beat me up with lathis and gun butts. One of them thrust the barrel of his gun into my mouth so that I wouldn’t shout,” he said.
He said the troopers abused him and said all Kashmiris were “traitors and Pakistanis”.
“When they finally stopped I got up, parked my bike and for the first time in my life I picked up a stone and threw it at them with all my strength and all by myself I said ‘hum kya chahte, azadi.”
“Before this episode I considered India my country and often questioned why people want to secede from India. I would fight with anyone who said something bad against India. From cricket to their films, I loved everything about India. But I was living in a dreamland till I met with reality of their brutality,” said Waqar.
Waqar then started visiting stone-throwing hotbeds in the city like Nowhatta.
“I went to these places and actually asked stone throwers to teach me,” he said.
Disturbed by son’s transformation, Waqar’s father had shifted to Lal Bazar area. Waqar calls it “forced displacement.”
Waqar finished his undergraduate degree in commerce last year and he is planning to pursue an MBA. If he stays out of jail.