SHOPIAN: As mourners throng the house of slain Al-Badar commander Zeenat ul Islam, they keep asking for his four-year-old daughter. Mourners take her in their arms, kiss her and burst into tears. The little girl who has grown without her father around, however, has no tears in her eyes and is probably oblivious of the situation.
Married in 2014, Zeenat-ul Islam had left home to join militant ranks soon after his child was born. It was not, however, his first brush with militancy. He had been arrested, earlier, in 2010 for militant activities. However, after this release, it was the continuous harassment from police, that apparently consolidated his decision.
Zeenat’s father, Ghulam Hassan Shah, said that Zeenat had joined militant ranks when he was a class 8th student, and was arrested in 2010 from Sopore area of district Baramulla and jailed for three years.
“After his release he was subjected to daily summons and harassment by the government forces and they made a hell out of his life. In 2014, on family suggestions, I got him married and even on the day of his engagement he was in police custody. When I went to the police station to get him released for the day of engagement, the officer there told me why I am getting him married. He said he wouldn’t let it happen,” Shah recounts.
Shah added that ever after marriage Zeenat was subjected to continuous harassment and arrests. When his wife was still at her maternal home post childbirth,
Zeenat left home for ever.
Zeenat’s killing has given a setback to Al Badar outfit, and to the larger militant landscape in south Kashmir which has lost many top faces in 2018.
Zeenat was among the very few commanders in south Kashmir.
Pro-India political parties are trying to resume activities in the region, considered a no-go zone for them after 2016.
Shah is dismissive of the scene.
“Crocodile tears wouldn’t make any difference now when she ordered indiscriminate firing on civilians and introduced operation all out in valley,” Shah said referring to the recent visits of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti to south Kashmir.
“Today Mehbooba is visiting the families of militants, for whom she ordered operation all out and everybody knows how she shed crocodile tears when Asiya and Neelofar were gang raped and killed in Shopian. What she did for their justice when she was in power,” he added.
“How can people forget the toffee and milk remark.”
Shah requested the families of militants not to allow entry of politicians in their homes “because they are the people who massacred our young generations and stood for the oppression.”