Aijaz was the only earning member of family that has 3 sisters, no mother
Anantnag: A 20-year-old youth was stoned and then beaten to death by a group of “cow vigilantes” while he was transporting a buffalo to his home, in Rajouri district late Monday night.
“He had bought the buffalo to keep milk available for his ailing father who is not able to chew solid food,” a family member told Kashmir Reader. “Little did he know that caring for his family would cost him his life.”
The crime was committed by a group of goons in Muradpur area of Rajouri district, on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday. Aijaz Ahmad Dar, son of Muhammad Afzal Dar, a resident of Rajdhani Thannamandi, was the only breadwinner of his family, which includes his ailing father and three sisters.
Dar, as per his first cousin Muzaffar Ahmad Dar, left for Muradpur to buy the buffalo at about 9:00 PM Monday, in a mini truck, accompanied by his cousin Rashid Aziz and the driver of the truck, Maqbool Ahmad Mir.
“They bought the buffalo in Muradpur, and had dinner there. While Aijaz and Rashid suggested staying the night, Mir insisted on returning home as he had errands to run in the morning,” Muzaffar told Kashmir Reader.
They, Muzaffar said, left at around 2:00 AM and were stopped by a group of goons not even 500 metres from where they had started. “They were brandishing knives and batons, the driver and our cousin told me, and used abusive language while they hit the vehicle with batons and ordered the trio to disembark,” Muzaffar said.
The driver, sensing trouble, sped and tried to flee but was intercepted again near a BSF camp by the goons who pelted stones at the vehicle. “One of the stones hit Aijaz, who was sitting in the window seat. This was followed by indiscriminate hitting with the batons,” Muzaffar said.
The driver managed to escape and somehow reach Government Medical College (GMC) Rajouri but the goons had followed them in another vehicle and did not let them hospitalise Aijaz. They had to flee from the hospital and finally managed to call some help over the phone to be able to admit Aijaz to the hospital, Muzaffar told Kashmir Reader.
After first aid, the doctors at GMC Rajouri referred him to GMC Jammu where Aijaz breathed his last Tuesday morning.
“He has three unmarried sisters. He was the only earning hand in the family. These criminals took his life because he cared for his family,” Muzaffar said.
Kashmir Reader talked to a police officer, Sub-Inspector Jahangir Hussain from Muradpur, who said that a case has been registered and some people have been rounded up.
“Some 3-4 names have come to the fore and we have been rounding people associated with them for questioning. The culprits however remain on the run and have their phones switched off,” Hussain said.
The case FIR, number 408, has been registered under Sections 302 (murder), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapons) and other sections of the IPC.
Meanwhile, widespread condemnation of the lynching has poured in. Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed horror and said that such things were previously unheard of in Jammu and Kashmir.
“I request Manoj Sinha ji (the LG) to ensure the culprits are punished and his family is taken care of,” Mufti tweeted.