The Nowpora Village of South Kashmir’s Kulgam District is in mourning as hundreds of teraful eyes have gathered here to bid farewell to Aijaz Ahmad Bhat who was killed in Army firing yesterday.
Government Forces said that the youth threw stones on them and provoked them to fire, however the civilians in the area say not a single stone stone was thrown and Aijaz who was not a part of the crowd who hooted at the army was target fired.
Aiman and Deebe besides the dead body of their father/ Zaffar Dar
“Where is my father? Why has he not come home yet, I miss him,” i heard the Aiman, 2 year old daughter of Aijaz Shouting, while Deeba, another 4 year old daughter is waiting silently, they both have been told that Aijaz has left for work and he will return soon.
Aijaz who worked as a labourer by driving a tractor from Nowpora Kulgam was the sole bread earner to his family. “He would hardly go far away from his native village and visited home at least 4 times a day as he loved his daughters very much,” a neighbour who is also a friend of Aijaz told The Kashmiriyat.
Despite strict restrictions having been imposed around the area, thousands of mourners have came here from as far as Pulwama and Islamabad to join the funeral of the slain civilian who succumbed to his injuries on the way to District hospital, Islamabad (Anantnag) late night on Monday. “They are our heroes, our martyrs are our treasure and the movement will remain alive as Kashmiris are willing to sacrifice their blood for Kashmir,” Riyaz Ahmed, a mourner told The Kashmiriyat.
“I had sent him to get food for his daughters and he never came back,” his mother told The Kashmiriyat. The teary eyed mother says that Aijaz had done everything for his family to lift them up from shambles, he had quit studies in early age to earn, to help us eat, “what was his crime, How many bread earners have they shot, Why does India not kill us all together?” she asked. She said that Aijaz told his wife to wait and then he would feed the young daughters.
Two Young Boys Shot Slogans during the funeral of Aijaz Ahmed in South Kashmir/ Zaffar Dar
“Aijaz was killed in cold blood,” said Abdul Gaffar, who had seen Aijaz moments before the firing started, “He was innocent and humble, everyone’s darling.” Aijaz was the eldest son in his family that lives in a single-storey wood-and-brick house. “Why does Indian Army kill innocent civilians. What is their crime?” a mouner asks. He says that the Indian Army is conducting a genocide in Kashmir in the name of law and order, ‘Why would a stone pelter threaten an Army man who goes and is hunting down Militants without any fear?” he asks.
Earlier Sheraz Ahmed was killed during clashes in Islamabad township on Eid day. Sources told The Kashmiriyat that he was hit with pellets, a version testified by Hospital officials too, however the Police claimed that he had died due to a grenade exposion and his hand had suffered a massive damage, again a claim refuted by locals, it is pertinent to mention here that photojournalists were stopped from covering the event. “We were stopped by some youth among the mourners as we tried to click the photos of the body of slain Sheeraz,” a photohgrpaher told The Kashmiriyat.
Men Mourn the death of Aijaz during his funeral in South Kashmir on Tuesday
Civilian Killings have been on rise especially in the Southern part of Kashmir, unofficial figures reveal that at least 50 civilians have been shot dead in the first six months of 2018 and an overall of 30,000 civilians have been killed since an armed insurgency broke out in Jammu Kashmir challenging the Indian rule on Kashmir.
The Asian neighbours claiming the region in entirety have fought three wars over the region.
Author: Qazi Shibli
Qazi Shibli is a News Editor with ‘The Kashmiriyat.’ He is a Journalism graduate from Bangalore University.