SANDIPORA (BUDGAM): Sandipora is located at an idyll stop atop a hillock, which offers a panoramic view to the Budgam town. On Tuesday, the people here huddled in the chilling cold to mourn the killing of 60-year-old Hurriyat activist Yousuf Nadeem.
Nadeem was killed by unknown gunman while travelling in a vehicle at Chahrangam Beerwah on Monday when he was on way home.
“It is a cold-blooded murder in broad day light, but the police have failed to make any arrests,” people in Chahrangam said.
Yousuf’s grieving wife, Khatija, was inconsolable. She wept while her relatives and neighbours tried to console her. She spoke in hushed tones and sobs, her head cupped by one of her relatives in her hand as she lamented the loss of her husband.
“Yousuf was a helping hand to poor and needy persons. He never indulged in complicated issues,” she said while crying.
“Che Kem mornakh myane shahzada (Who killed you, o my prince!)” she cried.
Inside an old double-storey house, women were wailing over the killing of Yousuf. Dozens of women could be seen in the lawn and inside the hall of Nadeem’s house. The screaming of the women could be heard even from a distance. “He left home well dressed, but his body was wheeled into his home in a shroud soaked in blood,” said a local boy.
“He has been killed because he was serving humanity,” Yasir, the son of Yousuf and a web designer, said.
“My father has been assassinated by one among the bureaucrats or politicians,” Yasir alleged. “I don’t know the reason but I am sure that there is the hand of politicians in it.”
“I am glad and would love to see Geelani here at my home. Although many representatives of Hurriyat came here but I want Geelani to be here because I want to ask him a lot of questions and want to convey my pain and suffering,” Yasir said in broken voice.
He said that his father, popularly known as Nadeem, was a former militant commander of Hizbul-Momineen from 1990-95. He was working as an employee in PDD department and left home in 1990, when militancy was at its peak. “We were mere kids that time. It was our mother who single-handedly managed to raise us,” Yasir said.
“He was arrested and detained in central jail for three years and was released later. After returning, he was again reinstated and was working as RE in PDD department and was currently posted at Beerwah,” Yasir said. “Since 2003, he was constantly victimised by government forces and was also sent to jail during the 2016 uprising for one year.”
“He was also spokesperson of Tahreek-E-Wahdat-E-Islami, an offshoot of Hizbul-Momineen and an organisation affiliated with Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani,” Yasir added.
The slain Yousuf was buried in the local graveyard at Sandipora where a large number of people attended his funeral prayers.
“Today it is my father, tomorrow it will be someone else’s,” Yasir said. “Something should be done to stop this bloodshed immediately.”
Police have registered an FIR at police station Beerwah under FIR no 22/2018 under Section 302 ROC and 7/27 Arms Act and say they have started an investigation.