Owais Farooqi & Umar Mushtaq
Hajin, Bandipora: In the month of May, on a Friday, 20-year-old Abid Hamid Mir left his home in Hajin, Bandipora, at 10am, without telling his parents where he was going. Before he left, he returned his mother the money she had given him to fetch bread.
“He returned the money and left without saying a word,” said the bereaved mother, Jawahara.
A militant for 89 days, Abid is one of the youngest militants from Hajin to have died in recent years.
Abid earned a distinction in his Class 12 exams, with 83 percent marks. He wished to be a businessman, so he decided to study B Com at Islamia College in Srinagar. His father, though, wanted him to do MBBS course and become a doctor.
Just a few months into his BCom course, he left studies to pick up arms.
Abid had studied in a military school till Class 6, at the Army Goodwill School in Hajin. He studied from the 6th to12th standard at the central government’s Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Shahkote, in Uri.
Despite having studied in military and Indian schools, Abid was devoted to Kashmir’s freedom struggle. “He was a freedom and religion-loving person,” said his father, Abdul Hamid Mir.
On July 8 last year, when Burhan Wani was killed, Abid attended his funeral at Tral. “After coming back from the funeral, he started to pray more during the night,” Abid’s father said.
Since the day he left home, he never contacted his family. “I still don’t know what outfit he was associated with,” Hamid said.
“The only indication that he may have joined militancy was that another local boy went missing the same day,” he added.
Jawahara, Abid’s mother while sitting among the mourning women at her house, occasionally broke into sobs. But she joined in the pro-freedom sloganeering and raised her hands high when the people chanted, “Hum kya chahtey? (What do we seek?)”, to which the women unanimously shouted, “Aazadi (Freedom)”.
Another slogan was raised, “Abid tere khoon se… (Abid, from thy blood…)” and the reply came, “Inqelaab ayega (Revolution will come).”
Jawahara said in a quiet voice, “I have sacrificed my son for the cause of Kashmir. I used to pray for him that he should die as a martyr, as he wished.”
Abid’s body arrived at his home at about 11am. His body was carried through the village. Youths raised pro-freedom slogans and women sang eulogies for hours together in the day’s heat.
Jawahara was on her feet at Eidgah, where she saw her son being brought for burial, followed by thousands of people.
“He always used to say that I will leave home for the cause of Kashmir. I never stopped him. He would ask me to pray for his martyrdom, and I did. Today he made me proud,” she said while speaking to Kashmir Reader.
According to a close friend of Abid, Burhan Wani’s killing was the turning point for him. Before that, when Abid was very young, he would occasionally throw stones on government troops.
After Burhan Wani’s killing, “Abid would photoshop his pictures to put himself alongside Burhan, carrying a gun,” Imran said.
Despite blockades put in place by government forces, and even with cellphone and internet services barred, thousands of people attended Abid’s funeral at his native village in Hajin.