In the aftermath of Afzal Guru’s hanging, a 13-year-old boy found himself in the middle of a protest and almost lost his life. Surviving with damaged vital organs, the destitute boy is waiting for help to arrive so that he could resume his life, Sameer Yasir reports.
On February 11, a bright sun swam upwards from behind the mountains in north Kashmir’s Baramulla town. Youngsters, mostly children, who were protesting the secret execution of the 2001 Parliament Attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru, were keeping the paramilitary forces busy on the two cemented bridges by pelting stones.
As the sun began to prepare for its day-long journey, police and paramilitary forces pulled up their socks by engaging stone pelters to prevent the protest from spilling over to other side of the town. Three main bridges over River Jehlum which connect two parts of the divided Baramulla town were closed and concertina wire was laid on them.
As afternoon prayers were finished, a large protest managed to cross over to new town using the third, newly constructed bridge which was not secured and threw the concertina wires into Jehlum. Hundreds of people started moved towards the Srinagar-Muzafarabad road to witness the clashes between the police and protesters. With some of its men deployed on the two main bridges, the J&K police force posted at Baramulla police station were keeping indoors.
In the meantime, a large mob appeared at the station and started pelting stones and, in the process, a few windowpanes were shattered. As the situation turned ugly, a small police vehicle chased the protesters towards the same bridge which they used to cross over some minutes back. A pandemonium broke out in which a bystander, Tanveer Ahmad Mir, a thirteen year old orphan, who was watching the battles between police and protesters, got stuck in the concertina wire.
It was difficult to run away. The razor sharp blades of the wire were stuck in his legs. People had run over him to save themselves from the wrath of police. Everyone had left the place and Tanveer, in panic, pulled out his leg and escaped before the police could arrive on the scene. However, after running some distance, he saw blood. A seething pain in his lower abdomen crippled him.
“When we reached the other side of the town, we told him to open his trousers. Blood was coming out from the middle of his penis. No one took him to hospital since he was an orphan. He doesn’t have his own parents,” Shahid, a friend of Tanveer says.
The coiled, barbed wire had cut his urethra, a small tube in the penis through which urine passes. For some days, Tanveer stayed at home. There was no one in the house to take him to the doctor. The wound started healing but the urine began to pass though an unnatural opening caused by the cut inflicted by the concertina wire. ‘I don’t feel pain but it makes me uncomfortable,” Tanveer told Kashmir life.
Tanveer works as salesmen at a shop in Baramulla town. His father, Bashir Ahmad Mir, died of a heart attack in September 2010. He worked as a laborer in the town to raise his wife and two young children when he met a sudden death. Five months after his death, his wife remarried and left her two sons in the care of her dead husband’s brother. In the same year, Tanveer’s uncle too passed away, leaving behind his wife and three children. The two brothers had only one person to look up to, their widowed aunt, Parveena, who now had to take care of five children with meager resources.
Some days after the accident, Shabir Ahmad Pathan on whose shop Tanveer works took him to Baramulla hospital where doctors told him that he has to be operated in Srinagar. “In Srinagar, a doctor advised us to go to Delhi for surgery. It would need a specialist surgeon for doing the operation,” a visibly upset Shabir said. The doctors have told Shabir that Tanveer requires a plastic surgery to make up for the damaged part of his vital organ “They said we have to act as soon as possible as his urine pipe was shortening day after day,” he said.
Dr Qayoom Shah, one of the doctors at Baramulla District Hospital told Shabir that the medical expenses would at least cost Rs 25,000 rupees. For the moment, Tanveer stays inside his house, waiting for a miracle to happen so that his medical expenses could be met. At times, he goes to the shop to help Shabir. His aunt, Parveena says she can’t afford the treatment as she is also dependent on her son who takes scare of six members of the family.