SRINAGAR: “My flower was crushed before he could bloom,” said Parveena Begum as she kissed the photograph of her son Zahid Farooq who was killed on this day in 2010 by Border Security (BSF) men at Brein area of Nishat here.
“Young lives are not meant to snuff out like this. Nobody has right to crush someone’s flower just before bloom,” she said.
Seven years ago, on February 5, 2010, Zahid Farooq (17) was killed by BSF men just outside his home. BSF Commandant R K Birdi and Constable Lakhvinder Kumar were charged for his murder.
For Farooq Ahmed Sheikh, father of Zahid, all these seven years were test of his patience and steadfastness.
Just a year ago, Sheikh was bed ridden battling serious ailment despite that he continued to fight his son’s case.
The father says that being “tired doesn’t mean to stop getting justice.” “One must not lose a battle without fighting it.”
“There were phases when I thought to forget the case. But what keeps me going on is the face of my innocent son,” says Sheikh with a confident voice.
The killing of Zahid Farooq evoked massive protests across Kashmir.
Under pressure, the then state government led by Omar Abdullah took up Zahid’s killing with the then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and it was only after the latter’s intervention that the BSF had admitted the killing.
Subsequently, police filed the charge-sheet against the two accused after two months of the killing.
“Every time, I think to myself, look, you have to fight for your son’s honor. He won’t be back but as a father I can at least fight the case to its conclusion,” he says.
The hapless family may have lost their lone son but his memories—books, clothes, cricket kit or other items—have been kept in a room so that his memories won’t disappear. They are treasures for them.
The killing of Parveena’s lone son changed her and family’s life forever.
“There is not a single day that passes by when we all don’t think of him. I have kept his all memories with us. He is in our thoughts all the time,” says Parveena as tears roll down her cheeks.
“He was supposed to shoulder my coffin and to bury me. He was supposed to take care of me,” she says touching Zahid’s photograph.
Regaining her composure Parveena says that the family “would fight until justice is delivered.”
“It’s been a long battle. His absence cuts our soul. But more painful is that his killers are yet to be punished,” she adds.
The family shared the story what it has been to live without their son, a “budding rose for them.”
“BSF men don’t have any idea what they took away from me. What I can never get back,” says Parveena, and continues. “they snatched away everything from me.”
“I yearn for the day when I meet him hereafter and kiss his forehead,” she said and broke down.
Zahid along with her sister Farhat Farooq passed their class 10 examination together some days before he fell to the bullets of BSF men in an “unprovoked firing.”
In September 2013, a local court had allowed the BSF to prosecute Birdi and his subordinate in the General Security Forces Court (GSFC) instead of civil court, allowing an application moved by Director General of BSF.
“He would always come home and hug me, say, “Mom you are beautiful.” They just ended it. “It is over now,” Parveena says as she burst into tears.