Katoo (Bijbehara): Driven by poverty, Mushtaq Ahmed Sheikh, the slain Special Police Officer (SPO) who was killed in south Kashmir’s Bijbehara area on Thursday had opted to join the police force out of duress. Orphaned quite early in his life, the slain SPO was living in abject poverty and was hardly making his two ends meet.
Mushtaq Ahmad Sheikh son of Late Sanaullah Sheikh, a resident of Katoo area in South Kashmir’s Bijbehara locality was killed after unidentified gunmen fired at him on Thursday evening. The incident also left his wife Fareeda critically injured.
Residents said that around 8 PM, three masked men entered into the tin shed where Mushtaq lived with his wife and showered a volley of bullets, leaving him dead and his wife Fareeda critically injured.
“Mushtaq was so poor that he could not afford to construct a two room house and he along with his wife were living in a tin shed,” Riyaz Ahmed, his cousin and neighbour said.
He said that Fareeda wife of Mushtaq Ahmad had pleaded before the gunmen to not target her husband but, they hardly bothered and even she too was shot at.
As per locals Mushtaq lived in a make shift shed in the Katoo village for the past three years and he was a very humble and a kind person.
Sharif Hussian, a relative of the slain cop said that after the death of Mushtaq’s father poverty forced Mushtaq to join the police department as an SPO.
“He tried his hand on various other jobs but could not make it and then finally when he got an opportunity to work as an SPO he had no other option then to say yes,” Hussain added.
He said that from the last 10 years he was working in the department and was presently posted at police post Sangam in Anantnag.
“Mushtaq was very humble and he was never warned before for any anti movement or any other activity,” he added.
“Mushtaq got married to Fareeda (hailing from Bewora) in year 2008 but the couple was still issueless,” Sharif added.
He said that after Mushtaq’s father passed away his family was reduced to penury. “Even his three sisters were married off in a simple way as all the expenses of their marriages was borne by the local Mohalla Committee.
What is worrying Mushtaq’s cousins and other extended family is that he has left behind three dependents who have nothing to rely on.
“Mushtaq has left behind a wife (who is in a critical condition presently admitted at SKIMS), a 15 year old brother Umer Sheikh and a widowed mother Jana Begum,” said his neighbours.
“The government should be generous enough to help this family out. Mushtaq was their only hope and after his death they are left with no source of income,” said Gulzar Ahmed, Mushtaq’s neighbour.
He said that the government should also bear all the medical expenses of his injured wife who is presently admitted in SKIMS Soura.