Shopian: Hordes of mourners are visiting the house of Khursheed Ahmad Khan at Vehil village to condole the killing of his 14-year-old son Tamseel Ahmad Khan.
Tamseel was killed by government forces in clashes during a gunfight in nearby Kundalan village on Tuesday, in which two JeM militants were also killed.
According to witnesses, Tamseel was shot on the forehead, some 600 meters away from the gunfight site in Kundalan village. They said he was going along with some people to Kundalan village when he was shot.
Tamseel was a Class 9 student at the government high school in Vehil. Outside, his house on Wednesday, as mourners line up, pictures of Tamseel and slain militants hung from the walls.
Tamseel’s mother, Meema Banoo came out of house, with the support of two women and starting kissing the pictures.
“When would you come back as you told me that you will bring bread from market. They killed you on an empty stomach, come home I will give you my heart for meals,” Meema wailed in front of the picture of her slain son.
“Government forces broke my already broken back,” Tamseel’s, father, Khursheed said. A carpenter by profession, Khursheed is suffering from a disc problem.
“Tamseel would handle chores at home after school hours. Despite my limited earnings, I spent all my earning to raise and educate my children to have support in old age but, they all of a sudden, killed my son, that too when he was hiding behind a tin wall to avoid the wrath of forces,” he said, alleging that it was a targeted killing as his son was shot on forehead.
Tamseel’s cousin Liyakat Ahmad told Kashmir Reader that he couldn’t recognise his cousin till he removed identity card from his pocket.
“I saw him falling on ground, he was there in an orchard as the forces were withdrawing from encounter. One among the troops shot him as Tamseel tried to take refuge behind a tin wall,” he said adding that till they reached Shopian he was not aware that he was carrying his cousin.
“He succumbed to his injuries near Nowgam bypass Srinagar, all I took him to hospital for was to clean the blood on his face and clothes,” he said.
Family sources said that Khursheed was planning to shift to a newly built one-storey house which the family was managing to get completed.
“Before they could shift, their house saw crowds of mourners,” an elderly villager remarked.
Villagers added that Khursheed was hardly able to meet two ends and Tamseel helped father with work at home and orchards.
Khursheed was on work at Gadapora village when, he said, he received a phone call around noon telling him that his son has been injured. “The family where I was working dropped me at home. Then I took a vehicle to go to Srinagar, the driver on reaching Meminder turned back. As I asked him why he turned back he went mute and I realised that my son is no more,” he said.
On Tuesday morning, Khursheed said, he told his son to accompany him for spraying in apple orchard.
“He told me, the weather is not good today and an encounter is underway in Kundalan which was almost five kilometers away from our village. I choose to go for work then,” Khursheed said while adding that he had no strength to work but was working only for his children.