Ghulam Mohammad Mir

(September 21, 1949 – December 16, 1993)

A man, who jumped into politics, contested an election unsuccessfully and was eventually killed as a militant leader lived with two names: Ghulam Mohammad Mir as a civilian and Shams ul Haq as a militant commander.

A resident of Budgam’s Sanoor Kalipora (SK Pora), Mir was a matriculate in 1967 from the same village he was born in. Later he moved to Magam in his neighbourhood for 10 + 2.  In 1973, he graduated from Degree College Bemina. His next destination was University of Kashmir. In 1982, he was holding masters degree in Urdu. In 1984, he had done masters degree in Arabic. In 1987, he passed his Molvi Fazil and in 1988 he completed his masters degree in Political Science.

“He was influenced by the Islamic literature quite early,” his son Mushtaq said. “For many years his routine work was to move from village to village and deliver Islamic speeches, distribute Islamic books.” Soon after, he started Friday prayers and had set up Darsgahs (Islamic seminary) in the villages of Mazhama, Ogmuna, Makhama, Magam, Kralpora, and Lolipora.

In Jama’at-e-Islami (JeI), his friends includes Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Dr Muhammad Sultan, Mohammad Yousuf Shah, Mohammad Ismail, and many others. Gradually, he rose among the ranks and became head of tehsil.

With such wide mass contacts, he was a natural choice to contest polls. In 1983, he contested for the first time. He ended up third with 2090 votes as NC won. When Muslim United Front (MUF) was launched later, Mir was an ideal choice to contest. This time he ended runner up with more than 10 thousand votes as National Conference (NC) wrested the seat again.

Locals remember his campaigning. Those who lead the campaign, among others, included Mohammad Ashraf Dar, Javed Mir, and Abdul Waheed Sheikh. Syed Farooq, who was his main polling agent, alleged that the “seat was won by Mir but it was given to NC”. “He had polled 16000 votes,” he claimed.

“After the election, he was arrested and jailed for 19 months,” his family members said. “I would take his favourite newspapers to him to jail,” his son said. Unlike others in jail, Mushtaq said, he started teaching in jail and would teach 800 prisoners. “He also authored a book on Islam in jail.”

After he was set free, locals said Mir was one of the key characters in setting up of Hizb ul Mujahideen. He crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and spent a good time in training camps and became Shams-ul-Haq. While he was there, he got the information that his brother Ali Mohammad, also a militant, was killed.

Finally, he returned home. His son said, “in 29 days of his return, our home was  raided 28 times.” On December 16, 1993 forces tracked him in Panziyara in Khag belt and killed him with his three friends Abdul Qayoom Sheikh, Khazir Mohammad Wani, and Syed Aashiq.

Survived by his four sons, a library with 8000 books and a cemetery on two kanals of land make his village remember him.

– by Saima Bashir


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