10 years of Tufail Mattoo’s death and his father’s fight for justice

SRINAGAR: It has been ten years to the day when Tufail Mattoo, whose killing triggered massive protests in Kashmir in 2010, died on the spot after a teargas shell fired by government forces hit him near Gandhi Memorial College here. Five years later, the case was closed on the basis of witnesses being untraceable. Tufail’s father, Muhammad Ashraf, fought a legal battle for reinvestigation of the case. The case was re-opened but a conclusion is still not in sight.
“My son will complete ten years in the grave. He has not got justice so far. But I am undeterred. I will fight. Despite my case being strong, there was no fair trial. Our struggle has exposed them, at least,” Muhammad Ashraf Mattoo told Kashmir Reader.
Tufail was a student of Class 12 at Government Higher Secondary School Hazratbal. He had passed his Class 10 from Radiant Public School, Malla Bagh, Srinagar. On June 11, 2010, Tufail was allegedly hit by a teargas shell near Rajouri Kadal and he died on the spot.
Ashraf, 55, quit a plush job in Dubai to come to Srinagar to fight for justice for his son. He has no job now and he sustains his family on his savings. According to him, he has dedicated his life to fight for justice, even if it may not come in his lifetime.
“I have chosen to fight for it, so I am doing it. If I do not get justice, Allah will deliver it in the afterlife. But my struggle will expose the system that is bereft of any respect for justice,” he said.

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