Is this the Governor Raj? I swear on Almighty, I had tea with him yesterday: Ajaz’s grandfather
Srinagar: The families of the three youths killed by government forces in a gunfight at Lawaypora area on Srinagar outskirts on Wednesday gathered outside the Police Control Room (PCR) Srinagar and denied that the youths were militants. They said that the three of them had left their homes only a day before for matters related to their education.
The families also demanded the bodies of their kin for last rites. Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in Kashmir, the bodies of slain militants are usually taken to Police Control Room (PCR) Srinagar for identification by their families and the last rites, including the burial, are conducted by the police, along with a few family members, at designated graveyards in Baramulla and Ganderbal districts.
Family members of two of the slain militants, Ather Mushtaq Wani from Bellow in Pulwama district and Ajaz Maqbool Ganie of Pulwama district, said that both had left yesterday from their homes in connection with studies-related matters.
Humayun Bashir, cousin brother of Ather Mushtaq, told Kashmir Reader that Ather had gone to Srinagar for admission in coaching classes for Class 12. “He left for Srinagar on Tuesday evening. After he reached there, he called us on the phone and said he would stay there for the night as it was too late to return home. He said he had fetched the admission form from the coaching center and we need not worry. ‘I’ll come back tomorrow morning’, he said,” Bashir told Kashmir Reader.
On Wednesday morning, Bashir said, the family’s repeated calls to Ather went in vain as his number was switched off. “Since morning we called him many times but it was switched off. We had no clue that he was trapped in an encounter in Srinagar. We only came to know about this entire episode when his pictures flashed on social media. We all were taken aback, and left for Srinagar in a hurry to at least obtain his body,” Bashir said.
However, the body was not handed over to the family, he said.
Family members of Ajaz Maqbool Ganie also claimed that he was innocent and had left home only to appear in an examination at the university which was scheduled on Tuesday.
“He had left for the university in Srinagar to appear in the examination. He was at home till 11 AM Tuesday and then he left in front of our eyes. After reaching Srinagar he called us at 3:01 pm and said that he won’t be able to return home on the same day as his exam will end late,” said Ajaz Ahmad’s sister, while protesting at the PCR.
She said that family members called on his phone the entire night but the calls didn’t connect. “We only came to know about this through my father, who is in the police department. Ajaz was not involved in any wrong activity, nor was there any FIR lodged against him,” she said.
His grandfather, Bashir Ahmad Ganie, while wailing over his death said, “I swear on the Almighty, I had tea with him yesterday at 10 AM. I don’t know from where he was taken and killed. Why was he killed? He was only in Class 12. Is this democracy here? Is this the Governor Raj? Kashmiris have been destroyed.”