“Continue Our Fight Against Oppression, Serve Your Parents,” Shah Jahan Told Kashmiri Youth in his Last Letter

April 13

Skinder Gull

Women and men raise the pitch of their slogans as Abdul Hamid Mir with watery eyes shoulders the bullet ridden body of his 23 year old son, this is not a abnormal scene in Kashmir, father burying his son, this is Kashmir post 2016, where saddening sites as such have become an everyday truth.

On an Autumn morning in September of the year 2017, Shah Jahan Mir, a young boy from Shopian’s Amshipura went missing, the family intensified their search, on 07th that September, Shah Jahan holding two guns, put a photograph, declaring that he had joined the banned Militant outfit, Jaish e Muhammad.

Last year on August 29, Militants struck in Shopian, killing four guards of a top Police official in a bid to snatch their weapon, later their night the name of Shah Jahan shot into prominence, when Forces set ablaze his one storey house in Amshipura in Shopian,

Kashmir, the Himalayan region has seen a revival of Militancy since 2016 after the killing of Burhan Wani on July 08, More than 450 Locals have picked up arms to join Militancy despite Indian Army having intensified their hunt for Militants, Cordon and Search Operations to find out Militants have become an hourly affair in Kashmir.

Hamid is left with his wife, Tasleema Akhtar, a son and a daughter, who are unmarried after Shah Jahan was rounded by Indian Government Forces including 34 RR, Jammu Kashmir Police and 18 BN of CRPF in Guhand orchards of Shopian area.

After a gunfight of less than an hour, Shah Jahan was killed, along with his associate, and few hours later, the bullet ridden body of Shah Jahan reached the courtyard of Hamid, his father, in Amshipura with his heroism and bravery being applauded by thousands of women and men who are carrying his body.

Shah Jahan, a 23 year old commander of Jaish e Muhammad, as per Police, was behind the killing of Firdousa (SPO) whom Militants held responsible for the killing of Sameer Tiger, pertinently the encounter in which Sameer Tiger was killed in Drubgam area of Pulwama district raged in the house of Firdousa SPO.

 The Kashmiriyat
The Funeral of Shah Jahan was attended by a sea of people in Shopian/ Photo- Zafar Dar~ The Kashmiriyat

The Police official told The Kashmiriyat that Shah Jahan was behind many attacks on Security establishments, his name also appeared in the militants who killed four policemen in Shopian last year in August, he said that Shah Jahan had recruited many youth into Jaish e Muhammad after he joined the group.

Shah Jahan, who had faced Police harassment, as per hi friends, was forced to join Militancy in September 2017. “The exact reason that prompted him to pick the gun is not known, however, the constant Police harassment, forced him to pick gun,” Shahid, one of his neigbour told The Kashmiriyat.

“What do they expect Kashmir youth to do? They banned beef, they kill people in the name of cows, Muslims in India cannot respond, since they are in minority, but such dictate will have repercussions in Kashmir,” he said, adding, “They want to kill us for their vote bank, we will not hesitate to have our heads cut to be heard.”

The Himalayan region has been disputed between India and Pakistan since their partition in 1947 from British empire. Both the Asian powers have fought three wars claiming the region in its entirety.

An armed Insurgency challenging the Indian rule broke out in Kashmir in 1988, more than 80,000 people including Militants have been killed since then, recently the funeral of Militants has become a major political statement as people from all castes and genders gather at the funeral of Local Militants in massive numbers to express their dissent against the Government.

At the funeral of Shah Jahan Mir, a letter tiled “Qoum ke Naam” was read to thousands of  sloganeering women and men, who had reached Amshipura from as far as 70 Kilometers, as distant as Kokernag in South Kashmir’s Islamabad (anantnag) district, This one page letter read by a young men who had his face masked who sounded agitated, but grieving.

The Kashmiriyat
Funerals in Kashmir have been seen as a major Political statement, in otherwise absence of Space for dissent/ Photo- Zafar Dar ~ The Kashmiriyat

“Dear Young Kashmiris, we have not hesitated to give up our dreams and not even our blood to preserve your dreams, to tread a better path for you, which is not with India, their tradition stand in contrast with ours, we love Islam, they hate us because we are Muslims,” the young man said while reading what he called Shah Jahan’s letter to the Kashmiri youth.

Reading the letter further, he said Shah Jahan had asked youth to follow the path of Islam, be it girls of boys, Islam differentiates none, we all have to follow the path and the principles of Islam closely.

“Youth are the pillars of our struggle or any nation, it is your duty to carry our just struggle forward, we did not lay down our lives for being the dead, we laid down our lives to try ensuring a better future for us, our future generations, our kids, we cannot live as slaves,” the letter read.

We have to carry the struggle forward- the young man said.