Pulwama: The Dar household in Bagh-e-Trich village in Pulwama district was brimming with festivity until the afternoon of Wednesday, August 9. In a matter of minutes, the laughter turned into wails and the festivity to mourning.
Sajad, the younger son of Ghulam Mohammad Dar, was getting married on Thursday. Preparations were in full swing for the customary Mehndi-raat on Wednesday afternoon. Dar’s elder son, Ashraf, had joined militants last year and the old man had somehow made peace with the fact. Ashraf worked at a cement factory in Khrew of Pampore, before he chose to pick up arms.
“He knew his son was not coming back. He had made peace with it and was trying to keep the family matters ticking,” a close relative of Dar told Kashmir Reader.
At about 1:30 in the afternoon, news of an encounter in Gulab Bagh area of Tral created some alarm in the festive household, but nobody wanted to dampen the spirits. The festivities continued, but not for long.
After about half an hour, the family was told that Ashraf had been killed in the gunfight at Gulab Bagh, along with two other militants.
By the time the body of Ashraf reached Bagh-e-Trich, the bride’s family in Quil village of Pulwama district had reconciled with the fact that the marriage will be now postponed.
“Such a situation was not alien to the bride’s family. They have also lost a son, and not long ago,” the relative said.
The bride-to-be is the younger sister of slain Lashkar militant Jahangir Ganai, who was killed in an encounter in Padgampora village of Awantipora in March this year.
Ashraf was laid to rest on Wednesday evening at his ancestral graveyard. Thousands of people gathered at his funeral.
A member of the mourning family said that Sajad’s marriage may happen after a week or so, “if Allah is kind enough.”