Hajin (Bandipora): Five masked gunmen barged into the house of Mohammad Yaqoob Wagay, 38, a butcher by profession, in the middle of the night and attacked him with knives, then slit his throat, before the eyes of his wife and 7-year-old son. They did not leave till he had bled to death.
The gruesome crime took place at 12:30am past Thursday midnight at Gund Prang village of Hajin, an area of Bandipora where such attacks and killings have become chillingly routine in recent weeks.
“Without speaking a word, the men broke the window pane and came inside,” said Sufeena, the wife of Yaqoob.
The house is built amid apple orchards at Gund Prang village, some four kilometres from Hajin town.
“The men came inside. Some of them spoke a mixture of Urdu, Punjabi and Kashmiri. They cut down the power supply to our house,” Sufeena said in broken speech, tears continuously flowing from her eyes.
Sufeena and her little son, Umar, watched the masked men murdering Yaqoob with knives.
“When the men caught hold of us, they separated me and my son from Yaqoob. They told us to remain quiet or ‘you will be shot’, they said. Two men dug their knives into Yaqoob, after which they clutched him and began to silt his throat. I saw him struggling till his last breath. We were forced to witness his murder,” Sufeena said.
When Yaqoob fell lifeless on the kitchen floor, the men left. Sufeena immediately called the police but they refused to come at night, she said.
“The police said that it was not possible for them to come to our house at night, as it wasn’t safe. They instead offered to send an ambulance to pick up Yaqoob’s body for a post-mortem,” Sufeena said.
Yaqoob ran a mutton shop near Madhwan Bridge in Hajin town. He had been in the businesses for decades.
Yaqoob’s post-mortem revealed that the neck was almost severed and his spinal cord broken. His left elbow was dislocated and the fingers of his left hand were also dislocated. There were bruises on his right forearm.
The Block Medical Officer (BMO) of Hajin said that the cause of death was blood loss due to the slit throat.
Yaqoob has left behind his wife, two sons – Umar, 7, and Yawar, 10.
Yawar was at his mother’s maternal house when the tragedy happened.
The Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) of Sumbal said that the killing was carried out by the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) group operating in the area.