INAM UL HAQ
Damhal Hanjipora: Denying that Abdul Rashid Kumar had participated in any protest that attacked the police station here on July 9, the family of this 19-year-old from Check Rambirpora hamlet of Dunaw Kandimarg village alleges that forces shot him dead while he was accompanying his diabetic mother to a medical facility.
Coming from a family of potters, Rashid helped his father Abdul Gaffar Kumar on the wheel making clay pots in summers while in winters he would go to Himachal Pradesh for manual labour.
He could not continue his education after passing Matriculation and started to work along with his brothers to support his family.
Having no farmland or any other source of income, Kumars are hardly able to make both ends meet with the meagre income from pottery making.
Even as a mob had attacked the police station here on the day, according to his family Rashid was not at all present in Damhal. “When the police station was attacked in the area he was at his home which is about 7 kilometers from the site of incident,” they said.
They say Rashid was working on their traditional potter’s wheel making clay pots for kangris till 1 pm and left home only after having lunch at around 2 pm to take her ailing mother to some doctor.
“As our mother was not feeling well, I asked Rashid, to take her to the doctor. She is a diabetic patient and faces some other chronic health issues, therefore, needs doctor’s vigil, whenever she faces any health issue. They left home only after having lunch at about 2 pm,” says his elder brother, Abdul Razzak Kumar.
“They (mother and Rashid) would have reached Damhal at about 3 pm as they had to walk about 7 to 8 km given that there was no transport on that day. While the protests and the attack on police station happened much earlier, how he could have participated in the protests?”
Rashid’s mother Hajira Begum, says: “We went to Damhal via fields to shorten the distance and were about to come on the main road ahead of police station, when Rashid who was walking a little ahead of me, suddenly screamed. His scream pierced through my heart, he was bleeding and I saw him falling down. After that I don’t know anything as I had lost my consciousness there.”
Rashid had received a bullet on right side of his chest. People immediately rushed him to Kulgam Hospital but he succumbed on way, says Razzak.
Sitting in a dilapidated single-story, one-room kacha house, Hajira says, “They killed him for no reason and then claimed he attacked a police station, which is a white lie. His father and brother were not here, they had gone to a relative’s place far away from here and they could not have the last glimpse of him. What worse could have befallen on us?