Kashmir valley has been gripped by a deadly violence as the toll of deaths of civilians, Militants and Government Forces keeps on rising and it has tarnished thousands of lives, many mothers losing their sole bread earning sons and many fathers shouldering the coffin of their young sons.
The raging violence has cut-short the dreams of thousands of families and youth, who have become a victim of the decade’s long violence in the region claimed by both India and Pakistan, A teenager, Numan Bhat killed in the firing of Government Forces in Shopian on November 25, 2018 made news one month after his death, when the results of class 10th were declared, has passed the matriculation exams.
Numan Ashraf Bhat, 15 year old boy and a resident of Bolus area in Kulgam shot dead on 25 November during clashes near an encounter site in Shopian when six militants– Mushtaq Ahmad Mir, Mohammad Abass Bhat, Umar Majeed Ganaie, Mohammad Waseem Wagay, Khalid Farooq Malik, all from South Kashmir, and one foreigner were killed.
Numan’s father who is a carpenter remembers the day, when the shouldered the coffin of his 15 year old son, “It was Karbala for me, I do not…..”Mohammed Ashraf bursts into tears trying to narrate the sequence of events that unfolded on 25 November. “Numan had finished his practical exam on Saturday and on Sunday morning, he left to get bread for breakfast, we kept waiting for him to come back, but he did not, his dead body reached my courtyard,” Mohammed Ashraf, his father said.
He said that his son dreamed to help his family and bring them out of poverty. “I do not want to become a doctor or engineer, but i just want to study well and take my family out of poverty,” his father remembers him saying several times.
However, while I speak to the family, I see his mother trying to hide her face constantly, she perhaps was weeping. It is almost 3: 30 pm and the noise of school children returning home makes her run to the window in absolute joy. “She looks through the window everyday and keeps telling that Numan is coming back from School.”
Here in Kashmir, we do not have a right to dream, we do not have to right to think of our future, because you never know which bullet will pierce your body and when. “Our right to life is at stake,” he said.