Family of Magam youth killed in 2007 longing for justice

Family of Magam youth killed in 2007 longing for justice
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Zahoor Ahmad was killed in police firing on protests for degree college


MAGAM: Ten years after a youth was killed in Magam when government forces opened fire on people protesting denial of degree college to the town, the family is still waiting for justice.
Twenty-three-year-old Zahoor Ahmad Mir lived in a joint family comprising of his wife, one-year-old child, and five brothers.
Ten years on, the locality where he lived is remembering him on his anniversary. The shops are shut, posters on the walls and shops remember him. People are visiting his family to console them.
Living in a two-story house, his family recounts the happening of the fateful day, Dec 15, 2007, and their struggle for justice over the decade.
“It was a quiet and calm day, people were busy with their work and were waiting for the announcement of degree college for Magam town but unfortunately the government at the last stage did not accede to their demand, which caused resentment among common people of Magam,” Fida Hussain Mir brother of Zahoor said.
After the news spread, people shut down their shops and decided to protest the government decision of turning down their request at the final stage, he said.
At around 11am some youths assembled in the main market of Magam and chanted anti-government slogans, Fida recalls.
“The police, CRPF persons of 176-battalion and SOG persons were deployed at the main market. But as soon as they started chanting slogans, forces lobbed several teargas shells to disperse them,” Fida said.
“It raged the protestors and the clashes turned violent. Forces finally opened fire on protestors in which almost dozens were injured,” he said. “Zahoor, my younger brother was hit in chest and fell down. Lying in pool of blood, we took him to CHC Magam wherefrom he was referred to SKIMS Bemina. But as we reached there, Zahoor was declared brought dead.”
Zahoor’s death worked as a catalyst and the situation in Magam remained tense for almost a month.
Since his killing, the family is seeking justice.
“I am aghast. I have lost trust on the government. They resort to dillydallying and never made public the reports of inquiry commission. Special Investigation Team constituted by government misled the court of law on the insistence of the ruling party,” Fida says with moist eyes.
“We are fed up now and have lost trust in government and police now. We demand compensation and justice, the justice they are deliberately delaying in order to protect the murders of our beloved brother,” the family says in one voice.
An FIR registered on the day at police station Magam under sections 307, 336, 392, 332, 427, 436, 148, 149 and 341 RPC, says that Zahoor was injured along with several youth when police fired several shots of bullets to disperse protestors who had turned violent. Zahoor succumbed to his injuries.
The FIR mentions that police had earlier lobbed tear gas shells to control the situation.
“The protestors turned violent, injured several security persons and meanwhile snatched rifle of a constable Nissar Ahmad. Following which the police lobbed several tear smoke shells to disperse them but when they did not dispersed police fired several shots of bullets to disperse them,” the FIR reads.