Srinagar: In less than five minutes of gunfight, two young men lost their lives and two children were orphaned, leaving behind two devastated families, two widows and elderly parents.
Mugees Ahmad Mir, 28, of Parimpora locality in Srinagar and Imran Tak of Basantgarh village in Udhampur were killed in a shootout on Friday evening at Zakura area in the city outskirts.
Mir was a militant commander while Tak was a police sub-inspector, both working for two competing antithetical narratives in Kashmir.
On Friday evening Mir along with his associates were travelling in a car from Ganderbal to Srinagar to receive some weapons. Pistol-borne Tak, who has been working with Police’s Special Operation Group in Srinagar, sources say left his office to intercept a weapon deal by Over Ground Workers of militants and laid a nakka at Zakura.
Without knowing militants were in an approaching car, Tak moved ahead for its search. Seeing gun wielding men inside the car, Tak removed the pistol from the holster and fired six bullets, grievously wounding Mir, said a source.
Militants also fired back in which Tak received fatal bullet wounds and later died in a hospital. Injured Mir tried to escape the shootout scene but died in a nearby orchard, where from he called his wife moments before his death.
“He sacrificed his life and family to free Kashmir from tyranny of Indian rule. He died a martyr, ” said Mir’s mother.
Minutes after their death, social networking sites were flooded with messages of regret and sorrow over the death of the two sons of the soil.
Mir left behind his six-month old son, his widow, a brother and elderly parents. To represent sacrifice of Mir for Kashmir’s freedom struggle, even his son was pictured with his body before being taken away for burial.
Pictures of both the slain men along with their children were circulated on social networking sites, evoking sympathies with people calling for introspection and end to violence from both sides- militants and security forces.
“Kashmiri v/s Kashmiri. Imran Tak v/s Mugees Mir. Mourning plus Mourning. Whose gain?, ” wrote Arif Khawaja, a dental surgeon on his Facebook. Khawaja’s post depicts the undercurrents of frustration, the over 30-year old violent conflict has inflicted on Kashmiri people.
Tak left behind a 2-year-old daughter and a widow, who is working as a nurse in a Srinagar hospital.
Outside – in the lawns of Tak family – a make shift tent has been erected where neighboring women are seen making beeline and expressing solidarity with the family. Sitting in one of the corners is his shell shocked widow with her daughter in her lap. Shrieks go louder and louder even as the neighboring women desperately try to console her but to no avail.
“No father ever thinks he will have to bury the body of his son. We are doomed,” said Tak’s father Lateef Ahmad, a retired lecturer.
Ahmad said his son had done no harm to anyone in his entire life. “I am sure, he would not have gone to kill anyone there,” he said.
His mother, Naseema Begum said his son had joined police to help his family live a good life.
Tak has left behind shell shocked family which also includes a differently abled elder brother, two sisters, who are all married, and a grandmother.
Nearly four thousand people joined in funerals of both the youth, who laid their lives for the people Kashmir.