SHOPIAN: At a time when militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen was struggling for new recruits, Abid Nazir Chopan, an engineering student on vacation to home, had shocked his family and the entire village of Padderpora by joining militant ranks.
This came a few days after Hizbul Mujahideen lost 11 men, including top strategist, in a gunfight on April 1, 2018.
Three of the slain were natives of Padderpora, a fact which may have had the life changing impact on Abid.
Abid, according to his family, joined militant ranks on 18 April.
“He was pursuing his engineering course at St Soldier’s College Chandigarh and was home to attend the wedding of his cousin,” a family member said.
He said the family had postponed the wedding earlier, on Abid’s insistence, so that he could attend it.
A day after he reached home, 12 militants and four civilians were killed in Shopian district on April 1. Three of the slain militants were residents of Padderpora.
“The wedding was scheduled on 18 April but Abid left home on 17th. Hundreds of efforts to contact him on phone were in vain as his phone was switched off,” a family member said.
Some of Abid’s family members were affiliated with Community Party of India (M) and his elder brother is a part of its student association. They said they had never ever though Abid would take “this path” and were shocked.
Villagers speculate that the funeral prayers of three slain militants including commander Ishfaq Ahmad became the tipping point for.
On Tuesday, Abid was among the four militants killed in Nadigam Shopain in a gunfight with government forces. Thousands of villagers attended his funeral prayers on Wednesday amid moist eyes, even as the wailing family continued to remain clueless to the reason Abid took the path. He is survived by his parents, brother and two sisters.
He had qualified NDA examination in 2016, the family said.
He spent many nights outside home because of the family’s political affiliation and the consequent threats from rebel groups, they noted.
The family, like many other villagers, had also voted in 2014 assembly elections.
The village is situated on Kulgam border and is being considered the last village of Shopian separating it with Kulgam district.
A complete shutdown was observed in the district for fourth consecutive day on Wednesday against killing of six militants in a week in the district.
All business establishments, schools and shops remained closed in the district while private traffic on roads was very thin.w