Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bomai win makes widow Tahira Hopeful

Courtesy: Daily Rising Kashmir dt. April 1st, 2009 by Shahjahan Afzal
Kupwara, March 31: The probe into the killings of two youth in Bomai and the subsequent indictment of accused troopers has come as a ray of hope for Tahira, the widow of Fayaz Ahmad Mir who was allegedly killed by troops of 18 RR outside his house on February 1 at Zab Khorhama Lolab in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district. Tahira demands a Bomai like probe into her 28-year-old husband’s killing so that the guilty are brought to book.Mother of four, 24-year-old Tahira says: “I remember Fayaz’s last words. He repeatedly alleged that he was fired by a six-member party of Army. This words strike my mind every now and then. I am neither able to sleep nor work.”Tahira along with her children Irfan, 9, Javaid, 8, Nida Jan, 7, and infant Saqib live in a shabby two roomed hut at Zab Khorhama.Memories“Fayaz was a caring husband. He would inquire about my health and well being every evening on his return from his workshop and would accompany me to the doctor when needed,” Tahira recalls bursting into tears. “On some occasions I used to be annoyed with him. At that time he would console me tenderly and always treat me humbly. Now there is no one to console me…no one, the days are gone…” Helplessness“Fayaz’s sweet memories steal my peace and patience. I am also troubled by the innocent questions my children pose about their father,” Tahira says.Demand“The government is yet to come up with the names of troopers involved in the killing of my husband even though SP sahib announced a probe into the incident by a gazetted level police officer in front of former MLA Lolab, Qaisar Jamsheed Lone. The probe has proved a hoax. Perhaps it has met the same fate which thousands of probes have met in Kashmir,” the widow says in anger.“We should have agitated like people of Bomai did. But I know nobody will accompany me now. Nobody will call a probe into the killing of my husband because I am poor,” Tahira rues.Rejecting the army claims that Fayaz was killed due to relentless firing by militants, the villagers say that neither there was any cross fire nor was any movement of militants in the area.They said that the killing was unjustified and unprovoked and the area was free from militants.Police has registered a case under section 302 of RPC to start investigation and to establish circumstances that led to the killing of the innocent tailor.Two months are about to pass but police is yet to make any headway in the case. The IncidentIt was the fateful evening of Sunday when Fayaz came out of his house to attend nature’s call. Fayaz would have only stepped down from the ladder of his house that he was ordered by troops to raise his hands. Fayaz yelled before troopers that he was the owner of the house but troopers did not pay any heed and shot at both his arms with two more bullets piercing into his chest.Fayaz’s assistant and an eyewitness to the incident, wishing not to be named, said six troopers had already laid an ambush in the area.“Sensing their mistake of killing an innocent, the troopers caught hold of Fayaz lying in a pool of blood and started to drag him toward the nearby hillock. Fayaz was pleading to let him free. Perhaps they were intending to dub him as a militant and cover up their crime,” he said. “The family shouted and called villagers who later on came to rescue him.”Residents SpeakA resident of Fayaz’s village said: “Fayaz’s children, wife and parents who are putting up in a separate house rushed to the spot with bare feet and had a scuffle with the Indian troopers. Sensing trouble, the troopers fled from the spot,” said a villager.“The people assembled and raised hue and cry. The troopers who had already laid a cordon in the area ordered the villagers not to venture out of their houses and keep their lights off just to avoid protests,” he said.A close relative of Fayaz, wishing not to be named said: “The troopers sealed all the ways connecting the village with main road and prevented the villagers from taking the injured Fayaz to hospital. It was only after a local Congress leader intervened whom we contacted over phone that a vehicle was sent. Till then it was too late.”Fayaz’s relatives said: “Fayaz was bleeding profusely and continued to cry in pain ‘Army killed me. Who will look after my children now and take me to the hospital.”Fayaz is not the only person in his family who was killed by troopers.Troopers also planted an IED to Fayaz’s paternal uncle Zia Mir at Khorhama Chowk in broad daylight but no inquiry was ever conducted in the case.He was working as a porter with the army post Kuligam and is said to have refused to honour diktats of the army.Fayaz had earned a name in the area as a tailor and was the lone breadwinner of his family. The family does not own any land and lives in a small two room hut.

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