Born Orphan

Mohiddin had five sons and a daughter and Malik was youngest among his siblings. “Being youngest he was close to his mother. She is like a living corpse since that day,” he said.

September 2010

A wave of ‘stone resistance’ was already spreading across length and breadth of Kashmir valley. To counter it, state chipped in with frequent curfews. On Sep 13 that year, like in many parts of Kashmir, Saffron town Pampore was also placed under curfew.

At around 3.00 PM, two neighbours from Mir Mohalla Pampore went outside their residence to access the situation. One of them was Javeed Iqbal Rather, 29, who owned a hardware store at Kadlabal Chowk Pampore. “Javeed had to visit his uncle who lives on the other side of road,” Bilal Rather, 36, Javeed’s elder brother, says. “As he and his neighbour stepped on the road, two CRPF men hiding on other end of road fired upon them, which left them dead on spot. They were shot in the head.”

In no time, wails and shrieks replaced the curfew-induced-calm of Mir Mohalla whose two sons were lying in a pool of blood on the deserted road. And then, two days after the incident, the mourning became even more intense at Rather residence. Javeed’s wife gave birth to a baby boy.

“It was a bitter pill to swallow,” Bilal says, while seated on the same chair at Rather hardware store in Kadlabal chowk where once Javeed used to sit. “We were in total fix, whether to mourn over departed soul or to celebrate the arrival of new Javeed in our family. But we couldn’t stop ourselves to lament what we lost.”

Soon after Javeed’s killing, his mother suffered a mental trauma. She remains aloof to herself most of the time since then. After family’s insistence, Javeed’s widow got remarried last year, but her son is now the part of Javeed’s family. They named his son Javeed.

“His departure has created a big vacuum in our lives,” Bilal, looking grim, says. “Just few days before he was murdered in a cold-blood, his passport was delivered. Our business company had chosen him for a foreign tour, but he was killed before that.”

The FIR no. 165/2010 was registered in Pampore police station against Javeed’s killers. The report prepared by the SHO Pampore noted Javeed as the part of unruly mob who defied curfew and attempted to set Pampore police station on fire. “During the process of dispersal, 08 police personnel sustained injuries, while as protester Javeed Ahmad Rather succumbed to his injuries during treatment in Srinagar’s SMHS,” Javeed’s FIR report reads.

 “How could a dead man attack a Police Station, which is about 4 km away from the spot where Javeed was shot on his head,” says Bilal Rather in an agitated tone. “But then, it is insane to pin one’s hope on the system, which doesn’t even spare the dead!”

Further investigation is going on, reads a line in his FIR.

July 2013

State had observed Martyrs’ day only four days before a glimpse of same was seen in Ramban’s Gool village. Bullets from BSF killed four men, protesting desecration of the Holy Quran. One of them was Abdul Lateef who became father for the fourth time shortly after he had been buried.

Lateef’s wife Pari Begum gave birth to a little daughter at 4 pm, July 19, within five hours after people returned home from the graveyard after laying him to rest.

A farmer by profession, Lateef was married since 2002. He already had two sons and a daughter. His elder son is studying in fifth standard, younger son is in second and the daughter is studying in first class.

Lateef’s father had died many years ago and he had been living with his wife, old mother and an unmarried sister.

“It sounds strange that while people are coming to offer their condolences to our home,”Iqbal Ahmad, one of Lateef’s close relatives says, “And at the same time, we are unable to inform them that Lateef became father again, soon after he was buried!”

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