Budgam youth killed in chopper crash ‘had rushed to rescue pilots’

Budgam youth killed in chopper crash ‘had rushed to rescue pilots’
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Leaves his poor family in lurch

BUDGAM: It is difficult for the family of heartbroken family of Kifayat Ahmad Ganie- the 21-year-old from Garend Budgam, who lost his life to a military chopper crash last week- to come to terms with his loss.
However, in his death, their ‘Khanmoel’ (darling) son, “kept the example of humanity alive”, as he according to witnesses had rushed to rescues the air force personnel after the crash.
Kifayat had taken up the burden of supporting his family- mother, four sisters and an ailing brother- after losing his father a few years ago. He had to leave his studies, and worked as a daily wager. In his death now, the family has lost all their hope and their dreams.
On Wednesday (Feb 27), Kifayat was charred to death few meters from his home in Gariend village, when an Indian Air Force (IAF) chopper crashed killing all six personnel on board.
Zamrooda Begum, his mother, told Kashmir Reader that on the fateful day Kifayat had gone out to meet his friends in the locality, soon after his morning tea.
“After the chopper crashed, everyone rushed towards the spot. When I was approaching near to spot, I was told that my son has died,” Zamrooda recalls, breaking into a scream of dirges. “Myane bohduro, myane shair dilo, Mouj lejyo (Oh! My brave, my brave heart, your mother be sacrificed on you)”.
Shabir Hussain Ganie, an eyewitness, said that he along with Kifayat and four others was standing at the crash spot.
“It was around 10 am when we left our homes to have a routine walk in an open fields next to our home,” Shabir said.
“After spending few minutes there, we saw a chopper hovering close to rooftops. Within a fraction of second, I heard a very big explosion. Everything shook. Even the tremors of explosion were heard within a radius of almost 20 kilometers.”
The explosion was followed by heavy smoke, he added.
“We (I, Kifayat and four others) were sitting at the same spot where the chopper felt all of a sudden. We ran away to a safer place, however, when we had a look at the spot, the chopper was in flames”.
“Kifayat was the last to run, he shouted, ‘let us rescue the trapped men’. He was the first to reach the spot but as he reached near the spot, another big thud was heard. We again started to run to safer places,” Shabir said, adding that when they returned in a few minutes, “what we saw was his mangled body”.
Syed Maqsood, another eyewitness added, “Kifayat didn’t die while coming under the crashing jet, instead, he died while rescuing the trapped IAF officials”.
He remarked that Kifayat set an example of generosity and proved that humanity was supreme even in times of war.
“I salute his kindness, brotherly love and bravery. May Allah bestow him Jannah,” he added.
Mohammad Ashraf Ganie, Kifayat’s uncle, said if the chopper had crashed in residential area, it would have caused extensive damage.
“Ye oos zene Karbala (this was like a Karbala),” he said “thanks to Allah our shelters are safe”.
District officials have visited Kifayat’s home and handed over a cheque of rupees four lakh to the family.
Locals, however, demanded that the family be helped with a government job.
The tragedy struck family said that money cannot compensate the loss, but added that “if officials are sincere, we request to adjust any of the family member in government job”.