Harassed Constantly by Forces- Aaqib had Joined Militancy in October 2017

March  28

Skinder Gull

In the ongoing heightened Anti Militancy operations, the Forces jointly laid a ambush around the Yawran forest area in Keller area of South Kashmir’s Shopian killing three Militants, who were later identified as Locals.

The Slain Militants identified as Aaqib Ahmad from Bhatnoora from Lassipora Pulwama, Basharat Ahmad from Wasoora Pulwama and Sajad Ahmed Khanday from Bamnoo in Shopian’s Keller were all associates of Hizb ul Mujahideen.

Thousands of people gathered at the funeral of the slain Militants amid high pitch pro independence and Anti India sloganeering. People in droves of dozens and hundreds singing songs of freedom and dirges of bravery marched towards the house of Aaqib Ahmad from Bhatnoora from Lassipora Pulwama.

Aaqib Ahmed, a resident of Bathnoor area in South Kashmir’s Pulwama as per his father Abdul Ahad had joined Militant ranks in October 2017 after he was constantly harassed by the forces. “He had been arrested at least four times, sometimes as a stone thrower and twice he was arrested for having links with Militant groups, when he had none,” his father told The Kashmiriyat.

With thousands of people gathered for the funeral of Aaqib, who is being held as a hero in the area, Abdul Ahad rarely gets a chance to hold the coffin of his son as locals from as far as Islamabad (Anantnag) have to come to get a last glimpse of the ‘fallen hero’.

“in 2017, he was arrested and also tortured in the police custody, he did not return home, a few days later, the family was informed that Aaqib had joined Militancy,” his father said. “I have no regrets that he joined Militancy and i am proud of the fact that he died as a hero for his people.”

At the house of Aaqib the mood is comparatively different, women folk are singing dirges and folktales in honour of the mother of the “martyr,” as women from all the nearby localities have gathered to console a grieving mother who has lost her son.

“Mothers of Kashmir have been witnessing this from the past decades, my own son was killed during clashes at an encounter site,” one woman who appeared to be in her mid 40s said as they marched their way to the funeral ground where the body of Aaqib is being taken.

Data released in 2011 by Government agencies stated that, in the last 21 years, 43,460 people have been killed in the Kashmir insurgency. Of these, 21,323 are militants, 16868 civilians and 5,369 policemen. Human rights Organizations have blamed both Indian security forces and Kashmiri separatist militants for human rights abuses.

“In 2018, 250 militants have been eliminated which is the highest in a decade. And even as 2019 began, we already have more than 50 militants neutralized, the Indian Army does not think there is a grave situation,” A high rank official of Indian Army said.