Anantnag/Islamabad: Tariq Ahmad, 21, who fell to the bullets of government forces during protests near encounter site at Breenthi-Batpora–Dialgam village on Saturday, had left his studies to work for the treatment of his father battling blood cancer for past several years.
Tariq’s death however has shattered all hopes that the 53 year old Muhammad Yusuf Chopan, his father, had about getting treatment for the life threatening disease.
The elder son of the family, Muhammad Ashraf, is not able to work since he had been severely tortured allegedly by army men last year during summer uprising.
Ashraf, the family says, is also facing many charges “for being part of last year’s protests and has frequently to attend the court proceedings.”
“After Chopan was diagnosed with blood cancer, Tariq perforce left his studies in 12th standard and started working as a labourer. He toiled hard to bear the expenses for the treatment of his father,” says Mushtaq Ahmad, a neighbour.
He said Tariq was supposed to leave for Pahalgam yesterday only as he used to ferry Amarnath Yatris to cave shrine on pony from several years now.
“Who will bear the expenses of the treatment of his father now?,” asks Ghulam Mohiuddin, his uncle amid sobs.
“Chopan is undergoing treatment at SKIMS and has to exchange blood frequently.”
Tariq had been hit by a bullet on his face and rushed to District Hospital, Anantnag, where from doctors had referred him to SKIMS, Srinagar.
“On way to Srinagar- the paramilitary forces stopped our ambulance first near Bijbehara and then again at Pampore and thrashed the attendants as well as ambulance driver,” Mohiuddin said.
He said that Tariq suffered severe blood loss as it took around 3 hours for them to reach SKIMS.
“He succumbed only 30 minutes after he was admitted at SKIMS,” Mohiuddin said, adding that had the forces not stopped their ambulance Tariq would have survived.
The family members said that though Tariq was declared dead at 2 PM only, “police did not allow the body to be taken to his native village till late evening.”
“The police took the body to control room and handed it over to us at around 9 PM after which the body was brought to home and buried at around 11 PM,” they said.
Thousands participated in the funeral prayers of Tariq at his native village Dehruna amid pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.