BUDGAM: There is still a pall of gloom and no hope of justice at the homes of the seven civilians killed allegedly by government forces a year ago on April 9, when parliamentary by-elections were being held amid a massive boycott in Srinagar and Budgam.
The families of the slain say they will never forget the sight of the blood of their loved ones, flowing like a stream on the road, and the brain of a youngster splattering out of his pierced skull.
“It is a loss that will remain with us for our entire life,” they say.
The families call the killings “murder committed by government forces”. They say they will neither hope nor beg for justice from the government.
Seven civilians – Adil Faroq Dar, resident of Kawoosa; Nissar Ahmad Mir, resident of Rathsun; Aamir Resray, resident of Dadonpora; Shabir Ahmad Bhat, resident of Dawlatpora; Abbas Jahangir and Faizan Fayaz, both residents of Dalwah Chrar-e-Sharief; and Aqil Ahmad Wani of Churmujroo were killed in Budgam district on April 9, 2017.
At the home of Shabir Ahmad Bhat, a kilometer from the main town of Chadoora, people are visiting the family to offer their condolences. His father, Ghulam Mohammad, says of his son, “Shabir was a revolutionary. Before leaving for work at a chicken farm that morning, he had forbidden us from voting. He was a religious person. He told us to not vote because of the brutalities and killings taking place in Kashmir.”
“Being the elder son, he shouldered the responsibilities of the family. Since that day, his two sisters and younger brother have never been to school,” Ghulam Mohammad said. “We are shattered and have no hope except Allah.”
Farooq Ahmad Sheikh, father of Adil, who was preparing to study MBBS when he was killed, said that except reporters and persons from SHRC (State Human Rights Commission), no one bothered to visit their home. “It was a target killing which can’t be compensated at any cost,” he said.
“Police registered an FIR and said that he (Adil) was involved in an attempt to murder,” Farooq said. “It is an utter lie. My son had gone to a friend’s home to fetch some books. He had not committed any crime or offence that could have disrupted the peace.”
At the home of Aqeel Ahmad Wani, a video of whose killing by uniformed men of the ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) had gone viral on social media, his father Mohammad Amin said, “A year has gone by but the police have not registered any FIR against the ITBP personnel who were deployed at the polling booth that day. Delaying justice is denying justice.”
Aqeel was hit in his face by bullets fired from close range. He died while being taken to hospital.
Mohammad Ashraf Mir, the elderly father of Nissar Ahmad Mir, who was shot in the neck and died on the spot, said, “He was our sole bread earner and caretaker. We have no hope of getting justice from the government nor do we beg for justice. We have lost all hopes from the government and have no words to convey our pain.”
At the large house of Aamir Manzoor Resray, a Class 12 student shot dead, the family is equally despondent. “There were no protests, no stone-pelting,” said a villager who witnessed the killing. “At around 7pm, a contingent of the BSF and SSB (Border Security Force and Sashastra Seema Bal) came down the road from Zuhama. There was some hooting at them from youths and in response they fired indiscriminately on people. Aamir, who had recently returned from the orchard, was on his way to the mosque when he was hit by a bullet in the head. He died on the spot.”
Farooq Ahmad Resray, the boy’s uncle, said, “How long will these killings of innocents continue in Kashmir? The United Nations must wake up and bring to an end this bloodshed.”
At Hardu Dalwan, a picturesque village located on a hill near Charar-e-Sharif shrine, is the home of Faizan Dar, 13, and Abbas Jahangir Rather, 22, both killed on the spot after government forces shot at them.
On that fateful day, Faizan had woken up in the morning, had a cup of salted tea, recited the holy Quran and pottered around in the kitchen where his mother prepared breakfast for the family. Abbas was the son of a policeman, who was also killed that day.