A Tragic Death

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Journalist Javaid Ahmad dies of sudden cardiac arrest while on way to his office, Umar Mukhtar, his friend writes

Javid Ahmad

In a tragic development, Javaid Ahmad, 31, the senior Rising Kashmir newspaper reporter died of a heart attack on October 1, just a day after World Heart Day. He suffered a massive heart attack while travelling from Sopore to his office in a bus.

 Ahmad was working from his home since the pandemic lockdown began on March 25. But on this unfortunate day, he had to attend a meeting at his Srinagar office scheduled at 3 pm.

As the bus reached Hyderbeigh, a small hamlet on the highway, Ahmad according to the co-passengers was on his mobile phone. All of a sudden, he collapsed and the cell phone fell down. A doctor was travelling by his side. He immediately pulled him back and checked his pulse. He was cold and numb. Still, the co-passengers rushed him to a nearby Pattan hospital where doctors declared him dead on arrival.

Javaid was an amiable and polite person. He was humble, soft-spoken, and always helpful.

It was at the hospital that his purse was taken out of his pocket and his identity was known from his journalist card. Someone called his uncle about the incident and this is how his family was intimated.

Last year when the government imposed security lockdown and communication blackout across Jammu and Kashmir following the revocation of Article 370 on August 5, the journalist fraternity were given 10 internet connections at the Media Facilitation Centre, run by the premises hired and managed by the Jammu and Kashmir Information and Public Relations department. So, getting the time to sit at a computer and accessing the internet was not easy. In fact, the entire media was restricted to a room and all the newsrooms became one.

I used to rely upon Javaid always. I knew if he was at a computer, I didn’t have to wait for long. As his friend, I would take liberties with him and command him to move aside and he would more often than not oblige me with a smile. And sometimes, he did the same with me.

His funeral prayers were held at his native village Watergam in Rafiabad area of Baramulla district in which hundreds of people participated.  He was later laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard.

People from all walks of life, especially senior journalists from various districts and civil society members attended his funeral. I saw the moist eyes everywhere in the gathering.  

Javid, started his career as a district reporter for Rising Kashmir. Earlier, he briefly worked with the Kashmir Vision. Currently, he was working at the Srinagar office as a senior defence correspondent. He was a well-established journalist and had worked on numerous wonderful stories over the years that had made him a conspicuous name in Kashmir journalism. 

He completed his Bachelors in Mass Communication at Government Boys Degree College Baramulla and later finished his masters in journalism at the University of Madras. He was awarded the Thiru K Kamaraj Medal for securing the first rank.

Apart from working with Rising Kashmir, Javid also worked with reputed national English dailies that included The Tribune and The Hindu. He also contributed his pieces to Huffington PostNews Laundry, and also worked for Firstpost.

What was the most painful part in his death was Javid had got married in April this year, only five months before he died. He is survived by his wife, parents, and two younger siblings. His father is a government employee in the Public Health Department and his newlywed wife is a school teacher in a nearby private school. His younger brother and sister pursue their studies outside the state.  

A friend and colleague Mansoor said that professionally Javid was dedicated to his profession. “He was an accredited journalist and a member of the Kashmir Press Club. Post-August 5, everyone applauded his sincere and dedicated efforts,” Mansoor said.

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About Author

Umar Mukhtar is a Srinagar based journalist. He is covering human rights and the changing political landscape of the valley.

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