Riyaz ul Khaliq
It is no ordinary story; another day and an ordeal of tragedy.
Ab Rashid Khan and Jameela Khan were living a life of solitude for a long time now.
After marrying off their two daughters, Khan and his wife, Jameela, lived supporting each other in their two storey house at Nundresh Colony – B Bemina.
But on Thursday evening, Jameela left her ailing husband behind, alone. She was 60 years old.
As Kashmir is witnessing mass protests and clashes since July 09, 2016, Bemina was tense all day, today.
In the evening, forces were “chasing” protestors. The locals of Nundresh Colony said that forces damaged window panes.
“Jameela opened window from second storey of her house to find out who was pelting stones. The CRPF men trained guns on her, because of which she collapsed,” Khan said.
Khan is a business man and dealt with gold before he was diagnosed with cancer two years ago. He is around 70 years old.
For quite long time now, Khan is bed ridden. For regular medical check-ups, he visits SKIMS Soura.
“It was during the on-going mass uprising that he was accompanied by her deceased wife to SKIMS for necessary surgical procedure, a routine after every three months” a relative of Khans said. “Where he was given another dose of medicine to fight the cruel disease.”
The elderly couple walked all by foot to reach SKIMS as there was no transport facility.
“She was everything,” the relative explained, “the old couple had no son; they married off their daughters; Khan is bed ridden, so every job was done by Jameela herself. Be it household things or visiting relatives or taking Khan to hospital.”
Early today, Jameela took some time from her busy home schedule to buy medicine for Khan.
She visited a nearby chemist and after done with sale of lifesaving drugs, the post-paid cell phone of chemist caught her attention.
She was 60 already but was quite IT friendly but the ban on mobile phone network had left her handicapped as she could not make a call from her side. She was using a pre-paid SIM.
“I need to call my daughter,” Jameel told the chemist who readily agreed to dial the number.
One of the married daughters of Khan lives at Lal Bazaar and her phone rang up. “It is me,” Jameela told her Lal Bazaar daughter, “It has been quite long that you came to see us.”
Sensing that she was using chemist’s cell phone, Jameela kept her conversation quite short. “Do try to visit us soon,” Jameela told her daughter and hung up the call. “Yaerey Kareney Myoon Khudaay!” she told the chemist and left for home where Khan was waiting and anxious as atmosphere outside was “disturbing”.
Locals said that forces had entered Nundresh Colony and were damaging window panes while “chasing protestors”.
The two storey home of Khans lies by the side of main road which leads inside the Nundresh colony.
The residents of Nundresh Colony have been complaining for some days now that forces enter and damage private property.
“Jameela opened window from second storey of her house to find out who was pelting stones,” he husband said, “the CRPF men trained guns on her, because of which she collapsed.” She was brought dead to SKIMS JVC.
She didn’t fulfil the promise which she had made to her husband two years ago: to fight the cruel cancer together!
As the tragedy befell Khans in Bemina, the neighbours were quite cautious to inform their two daughters.
“You should visit your parents, it has been too long now,” one neighbour, very guarded in using the words, told daughter of Khan who resides in Lal Bazaar. This daughter took it quite “normal” as same request was made by her mother some hours ago.
As crowds began to swell at the Bemina home of Khan, one nephew of Khan mustered courage and called her Lal Bazaar cousin again. “Dii,” he burst in to tears, “taavun hey pyev!” (Tragedy has befell us).
This Lal Bazaar daughter of Khan rushed to Bemina thinking her ailing father “was no more”. But it was a double shock to her when she reached Bemina to see dead body of her mother “who was everything in her family”.
For 34th consecutive day, after at least 58 people were killed by forces, Kashmir has witnessed deserted roads as government continues to impose strict curfew to thwart any mass movement of public while united resistance leadership has called for continuous shutdown to “seek resolution of Kashmir Issue”.
The action-reaction has resulted in suspension of normal life. There is complete breakdown of communication network by government. Prepaid mobile phones, used by most of Kashmir population, work from one side only.