Family of civilian killed in Dragad gunfight yet to receive compensation

Family of civilian killed in Dragad gunfight yet to receive compensation
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Mushtaq Ahmad was ‘forced’ to accompany troops looking for militants

Shopian: Six months after Mushtaq Ahmad Thokar, a resident of Sugan village in Shopian, was killed, after government forces looking for militants in the locality “forced him to accompany them” on April 1, his wife and two children are staring at the bleak future.
Seven militants belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen were killed in a gunfight that night. According to police, militants were hiding in another house in the village, and all of them were killed in the courtyard.
The government has so far neither provided compensation for the death, nor to the damage done to Mushtaq’s house that day.
“Even then some officer from Chilipora army garrison came to our house and assured compensation for the damages done by them to our house but six months on no compensation was given to us,” Raqeeba, wife of Mushtaq said while seeking answers on why her husband was killed and how she would raise her two children.
“They first orphaned my kids, damaged our house without any militants being here, and now they are denying justice to us,” Raqeeba said. “Militants were some where else but my husband was made scapegoat by forces.”
The killing of Mushtaq has also left the family without a bread-earner.
“I am not able to bear the expenses of my children, their medicine, even two meals. Where would I go, even resistance camp has abandoned us,” she said.
Raqeeba is living in an isolated house at Dragad with her 11-year old twin children -a boy and girl.
“My daughter is suffering from psychiatric disorder since the killing of her father and till date it cost me Rs 50000 on her medicines and medical tests,” she said. Residents from the village told Kashmir Reader that the family should at least be given a government job, compensation for killing her husband and damages to house.
The 36-year-old Raqeeba said that officials had told her that government would itself will lodge case and compensate the family “but since then no official visited the house or provided us any help”.
“My ailing daughter often refuses to go to school, she is traumatic and complains that she doesn’t bear the noise in school,” Raqeeba breaks down while narrating the condition of her daughter.
Raqeeba in-laws used to live with the family before Mushtaq’s killing, but since then, they moved to live with another son, as Raqeeba “was not able to feed them and bear the cost of medicines”.
According to the family, in the night of April 1, government forces had laid a cordon around the houses in the village, they were unaware of till the forces knocked on the door.
“They knocked our door, shouted on us first, when we didn’t open it, they started smashing windows and doors. We got frightened. I, my husband and his father went outside and there were armed men who told my husband to accompany them; he told them there is no man except him in family but they didn’t listen and took him with them. I begged them to leave him but they didn’t listen and took him.” Raqeeba narrates.
“Within five minutes I took my father-in-law inside house as my mother-in-law was paralyzed, she shouted but was not aware that forces took her son. Then the firing stated, all I heard was cry of a male and then silence for a moment and then a huge firing on our house,” she said.
“I dragged in-laws into the kitchen while my son was wailing. The firing and huge bangs continued exploding on our house till morning but my husband didn’t return,” she said.
Tehsildar Chitragam, Nija-ul-Ahsani told Kashmir Reader that he has submitted the concerned report with the deputy commissioner’s office.
“I have done all my work and it is up to them now. I think by now they should have received compensation,” Ahsani said.
Deputy Commissioner Shopian, Owais Ahmad told Kashmir Reader that he will look into this matter.