Yawar Ahmed Dar, a South Kashmir dweller left home early morning on Sunday to participate in a cricket match. Shortly he rang one of his teammates informing, he will be unable to play, he straight away ran to Quimoh area where a gunfight had erupted between Militants and Government Forces. “He told me that he will call me later, when I insisted that the team will need him,” his friend Shahid told The Kashmiriyat.
Hundreds of people have gathered at Gassipora about five kilometers away from the district headquarters in Islamabad (Anantnag), the native village of Yawar to pay their condolences to the bereaved family. Women and men in large numbers are flocking the house to see the mother of the slain civilian, ‘Who shouted slogans on the funeral of her son’. “How can India Defeat us, when we have mothers like her,” a young man walking towards the house asked me.
Yawar, the 21 year old who was economically supporting his family after he had to quit his studies in 2014 after passing his class 10th exams died on the way to the hospital after being shot in his chest during clashes “near” encounter site, however his friends claim that he was killed three kilometres away from the gunfight sight, “very far” his friend Andleeb claims. He was hit in a bullet with his chest and he whispered into my ear, “I am dying in pain, dear friend, the pain is immense.”
People Carry the dead body of Yawar in his native, Gassipora before he was laid to rest (Photo/ Adnan Qadri)
Back at Yawar’s home, young boys including the friends of Slain Yawar friends sat in one corner of a room as a middle aged man addressed the mourners and exhorted them to “fight their ego and that is the only way to find paradise”.
Hundreds also march towards the graveyard where Yawar Ahmed is to laid to rest. Yawar’s friends, seven of them, sat in a circle around his grave. Struggling to control their emotions at losing a friend, one of them cried loudly. “We don’t believe that he is no more. He was always so full of life,” said Zubair. None of his friends have gone home since his death. “We miss him a lot. He was the leader of our group,” said another young boy. The women raise slogans leading a group of men and children back from the graveyard. Every visitor who comes pays his respects to the mother of yawar Ahmed, His brother, and the rest of his family.
The mother of Yawar Ahmed Dar shouts slogans during the funeral procession of her son
(Photo/ Adnan Qadri)
A Gassipora resident says, “Look what a respect he’s got. A few hundred people would’ve come to attend my funeral, had i died. This is what a funeral is. His pious blood fell down for our sacred Tehreek [Freedom Struggle]. Now his family will be the most respected in the area,” adding that everyone will offer salaam to his mother now. “Thousands have already visited our village to get a glimpse of his brave mother,” he told.
On Sunday noon an encounter raged in South Kashmir’s Quimoh area after Militants fired upon a party of government Forces who were conducting search operations in the area. Massive crowds swelled, in a move which has become a routine now, threw stones on troopers trying to give a chance to the trapped Militants to escape the encounter site, however the Government Forces disallowing anyone to move closer fired at civilians, injuring ten and killing Yawar.
Yawar’s death has left his family in distraught. He is survived by his parents, a brother and two sisters. “he was taking care of the expenses of the entire family, he was the bread earner, he gave up his studies and was now driving an auto, perhaps that is why they shot him dead,” his cousin told The Kashmiriyat adding that the police often used to raid his house for his alleged involvement in stone throwing, till he became a real stone thrower. “They forced him to pick up stones and they were never able to arrest him,” his cousin said.
Women gather around the body of slain Yawar to get a last glimpse
(Photo/ Adnan Qadri)
The encounter that had raged in the Quimoh area ended around 3pm with the killing of two Militants including a foreigner, Yawar was also shot. Reports suggest that there has been an increasing trend of civilians being shot dead near encounter sites. The Indian Army chief has warned the civilians protesting near encounter sites of dangerous consequences, however the growing numbers of civilians protesting near the gunfight sights suggests something is seriously wrong which political analysts believe India has strongly failed to address.
In an attempt to prevent the situation from exploding into a crisis, the authorities immediately suspended mobile internet in the Islamabad (Anantnag) and Kulgam Districts of the Kashmir Valley while as the educational institutions ordered to remain closed and railway services were suspended.
One thing is certain though Yawar’s end symbolizes the tragedy of Kashmir where there is little hope among people for an early solution to the decades old political conflict.
“Today it is his son, tomorrow it can be mine, this conflict is now consuming another generation of Kashmir,” said one of yawar’s neighbors’.
Author: Qazi Shibli
Qazi Shibli is a News Editor with ‘The Kashmiriyat.’ He is a Journalism graduate from Bangalore University.