Khan Sahib: In the village of Churmujroo, everyone is grieving over the death of 17-year-old Aqib Wani, the boy seen in a widely-circulated video as being shot dead by a CRPF trooper from point-blank range on April 9, the day the parliamentary elections for Srinagar seat were held.
Aqib was a Class 10 student. Even after almost a week of his killing, the lanes and by-lanes leading to the small hamlet of 200 households wear a deserted look. A few people come to the house of Aqib’s family every day to comfort them.
When this reporter went to Churmujroo, black and green banners were hung upon trees. A few lines of Kashmiri lullaby “Aqib jananow karyow gur guroo (Aquib we will play in the cradle), Ha sane wafa daro karyo gur guroo (O our beloved let us play in the cradle)” were written on them.
A little ahead, another banner read in Urdu, “Hamara bhai sab ka bhai Aqib bhai(Our brother, everyone’s brother, Aqib brother)’ and on another, the Kashmiri line: “Waniw yarow kya chu charan shaheed Aqib chuw toohe pyaran (Tell, friends, what are you searching for? Martyr Aqib is waiting for you)”.
In the two-storey house of Aqib’s family, a group of women were sitting in the courtyard. One of them was Naseema, Aqib’s mother. She lamented, “He was my younger son and my hope. How can I live without him? What shall I do?”
Aqib’s father, Amin Wani, said his son was killed at about 2:30pm on Sunday. “Aqib was at home on the day of the polls. He was with his parents and his two younger sisters and elder brother,” Wani said. “There were protests going on in our hamlet. Several residents of the village had gathered near the polling station and were protesting there. Sensing trouble, the polling staff had left at around 12:30pm. The forces had also left the village.”
Amin Wani said that after the forces left, Aqib left home to go play cricket with his friends.
“When they heard that polling was still going on in nearby Attina village despite the boycott, Aqib and his friends went to Attina to protest. There he was shot dead from point-blank range, just for throwing stones,” Wani said.
He said that the video which captured the whole episode shows that a group of boys including his son were hurling stones on the troops, but no non-lethal weapon was used on them and he was directly shot in the head.
“A paramilitary person is seen firing a bullet. It hit his head and pierced through it. The rest of the boys somehow managed to lift him,” Wani said.
“A Sikh resident of Attina lifted Aqib and took him to the health centre in Gondipora 3 kms away. My son was declared brought dead there,” Wani said.