’14-Year-Old Niece Of The Scholar And Pioneer Of Political Struggle Was Also Killed This Day In 1998′
Bandipora: Nineteen years ago, on November 4, scholar and resistance leader Ghulam Qadir Wani and his 14-year-old niece were murdered by unknown gunmen at his home in Arin village of Bandipora district.
Wani’s daughter and domestic help were injured in the firing by the gunmen who, Wanis believe, were never brought to the book. In fact, the family members say, some of the “culprits enjoy government patronage”.
“The culprits who plotted his killing are still at large. There has been no headway in this case. Even the case files were misplaced some years back by some influential people who were behind his killing,” said Wani’s brother Nazir Ahmad.
“Although the gunmen, who were used as pawns by some people, were either killed or died a natural death, the main culprits are yet to be arrested,” he said.
Recalling the day, Nazir said that barely had Wani returned home after offering night prayers did he go out again to lock the main gate of the house.
“Soon after he went out we heard gunshots. We rushed out and found a bullet had pierced his ankle. My daughter, who was only 14, tried to shield him and hugged him but the killers fired at them through. A bullet hit my daughter’s head and she died on the spot. Wani was also hit by bullets in his back and chest,” Nazir said. Wani died en route to Srinagar hospital.
“Police didn’t allow us to take his body home and we had to keep his body at Bandipora police station for the night. We buried them the next day,” he said.
Nazir said none of Wani’s close friends came forward to help the family fight for justice and trace the killers.
“Even the parties Wani was affiliated with during his fight for right to self-determination backed out,” he said.
Nazir said Wani became associated with the “Kashmiri struggle for freedom” when he was only 12 years old.
Wani had a Masters in English and a PhD from Jawahar Lal Nehru University in Delhi. He went to Pakistan in 1993 and returned in 1997.
Wani had been detained at the Bagh-e-Mehtab Interrogation Centre in 1973 for his opposition to the Indira-Sheikh Accord that was underway. In 1982, Sheikh Abdullah is learnt to have offered him a berth in the state cabinet as education minister, but he declined.
Wani fought on both the political and military fronts. He had also joined Al Barq militant outfit. During his political career, he held positions in various organisations. He also edited Jamaat-e-Islami’s journal for several years after completing his doctorate.
He was closely associated with the Muslim United Front (MUF) and was among the pioneers of Student Islamic Organization (SIO), serving it as the district president. He was the founder patron of the Islamic Students League (ISL) and general secretary of Muslim Muttahida Mahaz (MMM) or MUF that he founded with Qazi Nisar, who had opposed Farooq Abdullah during 1986 state Assembly elections.
In 1988, he joined JKLF as its publicity secretary. He wrote the group’s constitution. After the arrest of Yasin Malik, he rejoined ISL and led it since 1992 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Courtesy: Greater Kashmir