Yawar Nisar was 19 years old
At the entrance of the house, three young boys barely 18 are trying to feed rabbits who refusingly run to other side of the cage. The Rabbits do not recognize them; they need the old face which fed them. “They have not eaten anything from the past 20 days” says one of the boys. But Yawar (the old face) has travelled far beyond their imagination and can feed them no more.
Here near to his house, Hundreds of people have gathered to pay tributes to the slain militant, Yawar Nisar, the 19 year old militant who had joined militants on 18th day of July this year. Women in a separate tent are mourning the death, while men in the separate tent are singing the tales of the bravery of Yawar. Yawar had gone missing on the 18 July 2017 after which his parents filed a complaint at the Police station. The Police could not trace him in the initial days until the troopers raided his house located in the main town of Sherpora in Islamabad Township in Southern Kashmir, which has turned into a hotbed of new age militancy. Yawar was the first to join militant ranks after the killing of popular slain commander, Manzoor ul Islam. Manzoor ul Islam was killed in August 2004.
“I used to yell my lungs out every time the Police summoned him to the Police Station. The first time, I remember in 2008, he was in class 9, when the Police raided our house. When they could not find him, they took my husband instead and he was kept in detention for 18 days,” Says Soraya, the mother of Yawar Nisar. Soraya says that she pleaded to the police that her son was a minor, 15 that time, but the Police arrested him and booked him under charges of Stone Pelting.
She says that Yawar was arrested more than 12 times and on an occasion he was tortured to pulp, after which he had to be operated upon. The New Age Militants in Kashmir have the same story to tell, they grow up as the children of dark, witnessing blood and agony outside their houses, they pick up stones, are subjected to humiliation along with their families and finally they pick up the gun. There’s no deepening divide on the streets, they all have the same painful story to tell. There might be no takers for militancy in many groups in Kashmir, a constant tale of tortures and arrests needs a solution equally though.
“No, I do not regret even if I am a mother, I feel proud of what my son has done, even if I had 7 sons, I would sacrifice all of them for the cause of Kashmir Liberation. What does a mother tell her son when she sees him in Police custody every now and then? We have been seeing this since ages now, the conflict has driven us all in. I had to take care of him. I remember when my son was young, I tried to keep him away from everything, I was her first school, i used to use all the misnomers for militants, stone throwers to keep him away from the conflict. But despite thousands of efforts, I could not keep my son away from the reality he faced every day, we face every day and finally he was gone. I always felt a very strong connection towards Yawar and now that he is gone,” said Soraya.
Soraya says that Yawar took her permission for everything, even when he used to offer Tahajud (pre Dawn prayers), he would ask me, ‘mother, can I go?’ His mother claims on 18 July, the day Yawar left home to join militant ranks, he told me he was being called to the Police station. “He told me” Soraya says, “It was better to join militants than being summoned to the Police station and facing humiliation at their hands every now and then.” He was frustrated with the way he was constantly detained, Soraya says. “Whenever there would be any incident of stone throwing, he would be at the least called by the Police and told that they saw him throwing stones”, remembers Soraya.
“No mother will be willing to send her kid away to get killed, but I could not see him distressed in pain. He went to the encounter sites and used to tell me, Mother, Do not weep, if I return dead, your son will have bullets on his chest and he will die as a martyr. He used to my permission and always wished to die as a ‘Shaheed” recalls Soraya. Yawar’s Instagram says it all, ‘Shahadat (Martyrdom) is my Dream.’ “He spent his time mostly praying and apart from that he used to play cricket and maintain a personal diary which he torn before he left to join militancy,” says Soraya.
Yawar had joined militancy ten days back, which again raises questions, is this the way out? Yawar according to some unconfirmed sources did not even open a single fire and been hit on a bullet initially on his arm, he ran away, but lost his way from the two other companions who successfully managed to escape the site in Kanelwan area of Southern Kashmir’s Islamabad district on Thursday. He did not visibly have the tactics to run or training to even open fire, but it seems he was already operational on the field. He could not escape and he was killed. One SLR, 2 magazines, 40 rounds, one Chinese hand grenade and a pouch was recovered from his possession.
The Indian State has decided to go down heavily on armed militants as at least 120 militants have been killed this year, but the size of the funeral of militants is growing with every passing day in what many term as growing love for militancy and they claim the denial mode of the state to address a political dispute the main reason for it. A novel generation of young Kashmiris is being pushed to the wall, forced to take up arms, to take up violence once again, which might not be the solution. It might be getting easier for Indian state to crush militancy but the cries of ordinary Kashmiris are louder than ever now.