Manasbal, Jun 30: Last year, when Tariq’s brother died during an accident, he took over the responsibility to run the house. But as days passed, the youth who was today killed in army firing, in a rare gesture took the decision of marrying the widow (Amina) of his elder brother. His friends say he was a sensitive man and could not see others suffer. It was perhaps his outlook that made him to protests when teenage Irfan was shot dead in cold blood during midnight on Sunday. But, for Amina, with Tariq’s death she has been widowed twice. Adil Lateef writes in Kashmir dispatch.
During Sunday night, the Markundal village of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district witnessed the ‘cold-blooded murder’ of 17-year-old Muhammad Irfan. The killing of Irfan has not only shocked his family but the whole village people who see it as ‘revenge’ killing by the Army.
In the compound of her modest house, Irfan’s inconsolable mother calls her son, who fell to the bullets of Army for none of his fault. “O my dear son, where are you,” she shouts. The women, who had encircled her try to calm her, but she keeps wailing and calling her son.
“They dragged him, thrashed him and finally shot him,” says a witness, who was surrounded by people and few reporters. “They initially came at 11:00 PM and then again at 3:00 AM,” says this middle aged man, who despite repeated requests wasn’t revealing his name – perhaps fearing backlash from Army.
Irfan’s father, Ghulam Nabi, wasn’t able to speak. “He was shot in head and he died on spot,” he says, while wiping his tears after coming from the local graveyard where Irfan was buried amidst anti-India \and pro-freedom slogans.
The army men, who shot dead young Irfan, two hours after the incident pointed their guns towards protesters — who were protesting against the cold-blooded murder. Army killed another innocent, Tariq.
Tariq, who had come to attend a marriage in Markundal village from his native village called Borsu in the neighboring Manasbal area of Ganderbal district, was the sole breadearner.
At 5:00 in the morning, according to locals and witnesses, when they were protesting against the killing of Irfan, the army opened fire on demonstrators in which Tariq Ahmad – a 25 year old youth, who was doing part time job in a car showroom, was hit in abdomen. He was immediately shifted to hospital, where he breathed his last.
The killing of another youth fumed the already charged people, who clashed with government forces in many areas.
In Tariq’s native village, located near famous Manasbal Lake. The situation was extremely tense. Not only men, but women were also on the roads protesting against Tariq’s killing. They had blocked the movement of vehicles and had targeted those, which defied their orders of not going back.
Tariq’s death was another tragedy for his family. His elder brother had met an accident last year and died. The lone surviving brother in the family is a handicap.
As his body arrived in an ambulance, the village roared with cries and slogans.
Wrapped in blue blanket on a stretcher, Tariq’s body – who now was martyr for the villagers – was put in the compound of his home. People flocked inside the house’s compound to have a glimpse.
Tariq was given heroic farewell. Some women were singing marriage songs. He was to marry the widow of his elder brother.
(Some names have been changed to protect identity)
Courtesy: Kashmir Dispatch