Coverage of Burhan Age 3 Shaheed from the newspapers of Srinagar:
Rising Kashmir (Edu) Srinagar:The death of a three-year-old boy Burhan Bashir evoked instant and widespread condemnation on Saturday. Burhan was critically wounded when unidentified gunmen fired towards his father, a former militant, in Sopore town on Friday evening. Burhan was reportedly playing in the lap of his father at the time of the attack. No conscientious man can condone such barbaric acts. The mainstream and separatist politicians were quick to express outrage over the ghastly incident.
The separatist camp even gave a call for Valley-wide shutdown on Sunday which should serve as a strong message that innocent killings cannot be tolerated and the entire Kashmir stands united in this regard. According to reports, Burhan’s father, Bashir Ahmad Bhat had quit militancy after serving a prison term. It’s not for the first time that a former militant was attacked. However, in this particular instance, the assailants didn’t even hesitate to open fire at a child. The act is highly condemnable and cannot be justified by any means. As the pictures of Burhan were widely circulated on social networking sites, the public anger was palpable from the comments. The prompt condemnation sends out a strong message that a human rights issue is a human rights issue irrespective of who the culprit is. Burhan’s death reminds of an incident of February 2010 when an 11-day-old boy died in Baramulla district amid hostile circumstances involving a mob of miscreants. According to the bereaved parents, the mob, apparently protesting the government action against stone-pelters, paid no heed to their pleas to let them take their ailing new born to the hospital. The miscreants showed no mercy to even an infant and his four-year-old brother who was also hit in the head during the incident. Back to Burhan’s death, the government should order a fast-track probe into the incident to bring the culprits to book. It also calls for concerted efforts to forge a consensus in the civil society against those who show no respect for civilian lives, irrespective of their age, and treat them as if they are combatants. The identification of culprits behind Burhan’s death is subject to the findings of the investigation and just as they cannot be exonerated of murder charges, the government also cannot shrug off the responsibility in protecting the civilians. Unless there is an effective deterrent in place, many more Burhans will die for no fault of theirs.