#Day58: A Day Ahead of His Admission In Punjab College, Basit Lowered In His Grave


Aakash Hassan

Vessu (Qazigund)

Scenes from the funeral of slain Basit Ahmad Ahanger. (KL Images: Shah Hilal)

Scenes from the funeral of slain Basit Ahmad Ahanger. (KL Images: Shah Hilal)

“Khoon de Baraw,” said mother of Basit Ahmad Ahanger as Sun rays fall in the lawn of Ahangers in Vessu hamlet of Islamabad in South Kashmir.

On the other side, is aunt of the slain son of Ahangers and with her cry, all the mourners break in to tears with loud cries.

However, Basit’s mother, Tasleema won’t cry: “My son is a martyr and martyrs are not mourned,” but tears don’t stop rolling down her eyes.

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Basit Ahmad Ahanger (20) recently passed recently 12th standard examination and he had joined Degree College Islamabad for bachelors in Business.

“But wanted to explore world outside Kashmir,” one of his friends said. “He was scheduled to leave today to explore India.”

Basit Ahmad Ahanger

He had applied and got admission for Bachelors in Business Administration (BBA) in a private university in Northern state of Punjab.

But before he could move, his journey was cut short a day before while returning from apple orchard of their family.

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Eyewitnesses said that while clashes, which had erupted in early evening hours, were fading, Basit “thought it safe to go home”.

“When he approaching his home there was lull (in the clashes); he was walking on a concrete edge of road he was caught unawares that cops are hiding behind a shop,” one of the locals who was just few meters away recalled. “Immediately there was a loud bang and he felt down.”

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Basit was hit by pellets in legs.

“Soon the cops rushed towards him and started beating him,” locals told Kashmir Life and “then few lifted him up and threw him down in the flowing stream.”

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The steam is around 20 feet down the road and water level is too low and the banks of it are concrete. The stream helps farmers to push excess water out of their fields which flows in to Jhelum.

Locals said that “many top cops posted in the area were present on the occasion”.

One thing is what no reporter who visits Vessu will forget. “Don’t you dare not to write the truth,” people tell Journalists who are waiting to bid adieu to Basit. “Else, we will not allow you come here next time.”

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Locals said that the police and CRPF men soon left and Basit was shifted to PHC Vessu wherefrom he was referred to District hospital Islamabad, but was declared “brought dead”.

Doctors said that it was deep wound in Basit’s skull which caused his death besides he had multiple pellet injuries in both of his legs.

Alleging “extreme highhandedness of forces”, the locals said, “when the dead body was brought home, forces fired scores of teargas shells to disperse people.” “There were just three shoulders who managed to bring the dead body home.”

Thousands of people walked to get last glimpses of slain Basit and people had already offered Nimaz-e-Jinaza of Basit when this reporter left Eidgah Vessu.

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“Now see what they did to my son, will you vote again?” Gh Mohi ud Din Ahanger, father of slain Basit, asked people.

Amid strong pro-freedom slogans, women, young and old bid their farewell to Basit while some showered almonds and some offered milk to the “martyr”.

Back home, Ovais (15) is sitting lonely in one of the corners of Ahangers’ home. He is now the only child of Gh Mohi ud din Ahanger.

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“He was not my brother he was my best friend,” the only thing he talks and breaks with loud cries.

Those who attended the funeral of Basit today were curious as why funeral was not held yesterday late evening.

“His best friend, Umar, with whom Basit was joining the University for BBA was not home,” a family member of Ahangers said, “Umar rang up when he came to know about martyrdom of Basit: wait and I will lay him in grave myself, my friend.”

However, as the Srinagar-Jammu highway remained closed, Umar could not fulfil his wish: to see his friend one last time.

Basit is buried inside the 2.5 feet grave and people make their way home. Some friends of Basit are whispering: “He was with us, among us only yesterday around the same time (12:00 PM),” one friend said. “Brother, who knows who will die next?” another friend replied.


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