Srinagar, May 07: The fresh set of death and devastation has renewed our sense of anxiety. With internet blockades and towns and villages filled with army personnel, life is under siege in this part of the world. There is nominal movement except for the buzzing military parties or ambulances transporting the wounded and the dead.
Sajad Ahmed Rather was one of the five civilians killed during stone throwing that erupted post a gunfight in Shopian’s Imam Sahib Area.
“He was brave, generous and humble, always supportive to neighbours and friends,” one of his cousin told The Kashmiriyat.
Son of Manzoor Ahmed Rather, Sajad from Dooru Islamabad (Anantnag) was 20 Years old.
“It was a celebration, people are happy and emotional,” said a resident of Dooru. In this area of South Kashmir’s Islamabad (Anantnag) district, there is grief but also jubilation.
“In the morning he was preparing himself by wearing fresh clothes and cleaning his body because he always said he wanted to die along with Saddam,” says Hilal, a close neighbour.
“Bullet hit him in the eye and within a minute he was dead,” his cousin told The Kashmiriyat.
“Throughout these years, he followed Saddam closely, he wanted to grow his beard, his hair and had photographs of Saddam Padder all over his phone,” Hilal said.
“In the morning, he refused to have tea even though I had poured it in the cup. He took his cell phone and called his friends saying his ‘heart’ is trapped,” recalls Sajad’s mother.
Hundreds of protesters had stoned the forces to distract them and give the Militants a chance to escape, the return fire of bullets and pellets killing five and leaving over 100 wounded.
“He was intelligent and humble, the youngest of my five children and everyone’s darling,” his father said.
His friend Hilal said that he and Sajad had decided to go to the site to give a chance to Saddam Padder to escape. He told that as they made their way to Badigam, Ishfaq had joked about his friend’s thin physique. “I can carry your body on my shoulders if you collapse in the protests,” his friend told me Hilal said while speaking to The Kashmiriyat.
“On Saturday, Sajad asked me to get one-kilogram of mutton because on Sunday the whole family will have food together was,” Manzoor said.
During the last few months, he time and often would panic, get worried as news of Saddam Padder being trapped here and there often spread over social networking and immediately he rushed to the spots, Hilal said,
“The only aim left in my life is to die on the same day, When Saddam Padder dies,” his friend recalls him having said it repeatedly in April.
Sajad was working as a Labour and is survived by old age parents, two brothers and two sisters. Upon receiving a bullet in his eye, he was immediately rushed to the hospital, but he succumbed on the way.
5 Civilians identified Asif Ahmed of Ruhmoo Pulwama and Zubair Ahmed of Rajpora, Pulwama Adil Ahmed of Gund Kulgam, Sajad Ahmed of Dooru Islamabad and Nisar Ahmed Kumar of Shopian were killed during clashes near the Encounter site.
Five Militants were also killed in the Gunfight that had raged early morning in Badigam area of Shopian in South Kashmir’s Imam Sahib area.
Reports available suggest that 150 people have been killed till 06 May in Kashmir, which includes at least 40 Civilians and 26 Government personnel have lost their lives.
The Indian Army has announced the intensification of Operation All out against Kashmir Militants, however more Kashmiri youth are taking up arms after every encounter, 28 youth officially have taken up Arms In the month of April alone, creating a vicious cycle of deaths and violence.
By Qazir Shibli