Srinagar, November 06: The mother of the slain 16-year-old boy, Qaiser Hameed Sofi, who breathed last yesterday, has said that her son while on way to hospital told her that police at Harwan poisoned him before subjecting him to ruthless torturing.
As the women beat their chest and sing eulogies to mourn the killing of Qaiser Hameed Sofi, a thud from outside makes everyone silent. The wailing women, who are coughing their lungs out, bury their heads in their chest to escape the pungent smell of the PAVA shell.
“We are not even allowed to mourn. The forces injured dozens of people who were shouldering the coffin of my son. They smashed the window panes and injured my brother and sister. Please write this in your newspaper. Write that the people of Kashmir are living in pain,” they told reporters.
“See this PAVA shell also gave you a coughing fit. Now you can emphasize with us. A mother’s throat has been choked and she is not allowed to wail the loss of his son. Khudaya yi kus azaab (God! What is this agony),” says Qaiser’s mother, Mehmooda Akhter.
As the smoke of the PAVA shell settles, Mehmooda, who lives in Shalimar and is mourning the death of his son at his ancestral home at Ganderpora, Eidgah says, “We left this place and shifted to Shalimar because I didn’t want my children to get labeled as stone pelters and get killed. But see they still killed my son.”
On October 25, Mehmooda recalls, “Qaiser was watching television, but suddenly the electricity got snapped at 11 am and he went out. I thought he had gone out to buy biscuit for tea which he usually does at this time. I poured tea in the cups and was waiting for him, but when after two hours he didn’t come, I started looking around.”
At 1 in the afternoon when Qaiser didn’t turn up, the bereaved mother says, “I went out and started asking the shopkeepers. And they told me he was here watching the Muharram procession.”
“They told me STF men arrested four people and covered their faces but they were not sure whether Qaiser was among them.”
Qaiser’s elder brother, Ishfaq Sofi, who is battling with cancer says, “When he didn’t come home till late in the evening, we went to Police station Harwan and asked them about Qaiser. But they swore by God and said we have not arrested anybody by this name and made us to leave.”
Mehbooba spent the whole night crying, wondering where her son, who had kept the books on refrigerator to study, could have gone. He was preparing for his 10th standard exams.
The next day I along with my family members went to Police Station Nishat and asked them to write a missing report of my son. “But they refused to do so. They told us that Qaiser had picked up gun and had gone for training. I would have believed their words, but I knew Qaiser never picked a stone. In fact he had never raised a slogan.”
“Till 4 in the evening, SHO Nishat didn’t agree on writing a missing report and asked us to wait. But in the mean time as we were having a discussion with them, an acquaintance called my husband and asked us to reach immediately near CIE complex Shalimar.”
“As we rushed, we saw Qaiser lying near a main hole. Froth was coming out of his mouth. We immediately rushed him to SKIMS. On way to hospital Qaiser told me, ‘Mother the police at Harwan poisoned me. They tortured my arms and chest with iron and also made holes in my hands with pliers they also tortured my private parts. He gave similar statements in SKIMS also.”
For 10 days Qaiser was kept on ventilator support in SKIMS and yesterday at 10 pm the body was handed over to family.
“I want to know what was my son’s fault…why has he been killed so brutally? There has not been a day in my life when I have eaten without my son. Now what will I do without Qaiser. Isn’t this barbaric?” Mehmooda says while resting her head on the shoulder of a relative.