SRINAGAR: Eighteen years back Zaina Begum got her elder daughter married but instead of sending her off she got her son in law to move to her house.
Zaina took the decision because her husband and son had already died and there was no male member left in the family. But fate had it that 18 years down the line Zaina and her daughter have again been left without a male support – this time with an added responsibility of three minor children. Her son in law Niyaz Ahmad Mir, born and brought up at his parental house in Janglat Mandi locality of Islamabad town who was called by the name of Gaasha, was killed in recent shootout in Mir Bazaar on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway.
Mir, 42, was working as a driver with RAMKY Private Construction Company which is presently undertaking expansion of the Highway.
“Zaina Begum’s husband Muhamad Khalil Bhat expired some 20 years back and she had to toil hard working at the small piece of paddy land she owned to support her family consisting of four daughters and a son,” said the relatives.
They said that after the death of Bhat another tragedy befell the family as Zaina’s minor son aged 7 died after being hit by an army vehicle outside his house.
“Though she was shattered but lived for her four daughters the eldest of whom – Fancy Jan – married Niyaz,” said one of their relatives, Shahnawaz Ahmad.
He said Niyaz proved to be an obedient son in law and married off all sisters of his wife one by one.
“Niyaz first worked as a daily laborer and then after being engaged as a driver by RAMKY managed to construct a small house at the place where their old house stood. He also spent all the little compensation they received against the land acquired by RAMKY for Highway expansion. We were all happy for Gaasha and his family now, but never thought that this happiness would be short lived,” said Niyaz’s brother Wasim.
He said that he would also visit his parents and brothers in Islamabad regularly.
“I have lost my soul and guide,” he lamented.
Niyaz besides his wife has left behind three minor children – Taufeeq a 10th class student; Adnan -7th standard student – and Huzaifa – 4th standard student.
Eyewitnesses say that Niyaz was helping in removing the trawler which had collided with a truck, when a bullet pierced through his abdomen. He was rushed to district hospital where from he was shifted to Srinagar but succumbed on way.
“When he did not return in time his wife got worried and called him. He told her that he will return in a while as he was assisting people in regulating traffic. Even when I gave him a call he was alright though he told me that there has been some firing incident. But minutes after he again called both me and his wife to tell that he has been hit by a bullet,” said Nazir, his another brother.
He said that while Niyaz was being shifted him to Srinagar he was in full senses but kept on repeatedly saying us he won’t survive.
Eyewitness said that they first heard s single gun-shot and later after a pause of 5 minutes volley shots rang.
“I was there but could not gather what exactly was happening as I saw bodies lying on the road,” said one of the eyewitness Muhamad Yousuf of Malpora, Mir Bazaar.
A shutdown was observed in Mir Bazar and adjoining villages, Khrewan, Malpora, Laram Ganjipora – to mourn the death of Niyaz and others. Shops remained closed and traffic was thin. A large posse of CRPF and police were seen manning the highway at Mir Bazar.