Kashmir Scan met the family of a youngster allegedly killed in cold-blood by J&K Police personnel. This is a detailed account of horror that unfolded on the fateful evening of July 7 at a house on the outskirts of Srinagar city.
I visited the house of Shabir Ahmad Mir, a 25-year-old who was allegedly shot by the security forces while his family was kept at gunpoint in Tengpora on the outskirts of Srinagar on July 10. After 45 minutes of long drawn conversation filled with horrors of that fateful evening, I decided to leave.
As I stood up, an old woman with tears in her eyes grabbed my hand and said in a feeble voice: “Bring his murderers to justice” After a moment’s pause, I replied: “I can only write about what happened.” I felt hollow inside.
As I recount the visit, I am reminded of the bloodstains on the front yard and the terrified look on neighbours’ faces narrating the story of a cold-blooded murder of the 25-year-old who was snatched from his mother’s lap and then brutally killed in front of her.
“It was a targeted killing; no protests were taking place at that time. Shabir was a very nice guy. He used to pray five times a day,” said one of Shabir’s friend.
Born on October 28, 1990, Shabir was the lone bread-earner of his poor family. His friends say he was always concerned for his family. Due to his father’s bad health, he had to give up his studies at a very young age and work as a mason to support his family. Despite poverty and other problems, Mir had a positive outlook. He would play cricket on the banks of river Jehlum and see the sun set behind the mountains. He liked to enjoy the chirruping of birds and the beauty of Kashmir’s majestic mountains.
His one sister was married and he was preparing for the marriage of another. His friends say he was always worried about fulfilling his duties as a brother. His sole dream was to see his younger sister in wedding gown. Little did he know that fate had something tragic up its sleeve.
“We were having tea together when policemen suddenly came abusing, broke all the window glasses and fired a teargas shell in our home. One of the officers kicked open the door, I protested but they hit me with the gun butt,” said Shabir’s father, pointing at his head.
The monsters of the night showed no mercy and ransacked the entire house without a second thought. “They were looking for my son; I protested when my husband was hit, but those shameless monsters slapped me and abused me. Then they went straight for my son. He was frightened and started running. That’s when they fired the first bullet, targeting his abdomen. His body started spilling blood. He mustered some courage and tried to run, but they chased him and fired another bullet. They killed him, my son. What had he ever done to them?” said Mir’s wailing mother, narrating the story.
According to Shabir’s family, seven to eight policemen barged into the house on that fateful evening, two of whom were middle-rung officers. Witnesses said one had three stars and a blue lace, most likely a Dy SP, around his shoulder. The other only had stars. According to family, the officers slapped and abused the victim’s mother. They did not even spare his younger sister who was asked to keep quiet while a gun’s barrel was stuffed into her mouth.
“We heard them screaming and saw smoke coming out of the windows. For a second, we thought the house was on fire but then we heard Shehzada (Shabir’s mother) wailing and shouting ‘Myeha morukh gobbur …. Myeha morukhh gobbur…khudaayoo (Oh God, they killed my son. They killed my son). We understood something was wrong and then we saw how police officials were shamelessly standing there after killing Shabir in cold blood,” said the neighbours.
This incident of cold-blooded murder by the J&K police has agonised many and added to the hatred for the police department. Given the history of such crimes committed on civilian population in Kashmir, it is likely that the culprits will escape the clutches of justice. Shabir died for nothing. He lived a simple life but died a horrible death. I can never forget the look in his mother’s eyes when she told me to bring the culprits to justice. As we parted, she muttered: “yi chu zulum” (This is tyranny). As journalists, we can only write. And write I will.