Kashmir shuts against Sajad’s killing

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by Zubair Sofi

SRINAGAR: As Kashmir is on a daylong strike, mourning the young Sajad Sheikh, details of the gruesome event are unfolding gradually. He was killed last evening allegedly by BSF and was laid to rest in Danderkhah cemetery; the same graveyard where part of the Gawkadal massacre victims lay resting.

Batamaloo is a locality with its peculiar style of life. Youth spear time in evenings to gossip at shop-fronts. But Sajad was not at a shop-front. The 19-year old was standing near his home, a rented space, where they have been living for more than two decades in Batamaloo’s SD colony.

It was a neighbour asking Sajad to get some things from a shop for him. Responding gallantly, Sajad agreed and went to the shop. But before he could reach the shop, few armed vehicles of Border Security Forces entered the market, creating panic among people.

“The vehicles stopped in the middle of the road and fired as a few guys pelted stones in response,” a local resident said. “Sajad was standing at the end point of the lane in which he lived.”

Within moments, a bullet hit Sajad’s forehead. The crowd went to him and lifted him on shoulders and somehow drove him to the hospital. In premier SMHS hospital, Sajad was declared brought dead.

For an inconsolable Ghulam Hassan Sheikh, the murder of his son is devastating. Sajad was youngest of his four children. The family are chefs and were also making their living by running a barbecue outlet in Batamaloo.

Sajad used to help his father at their shop. A student of 10th class at Talent Education Institute Batamaloo, he was a good cricketer and a hardworking boy.

Basically from Chandoosa in Baramulla, the family had migrated to Srinagar for a living more than twenty years back. Interestingly, they had gone home last week and had returned to Batamaloo only four hours before the tragedy hit them. They had spent almost a week in Baramulla.

That was perhaps why his father was crying at his son’s grave: “Did we came back here for your death?” The family was not permitted by the locality to take his son’s coffin to Baramulla. They said that he was brought up in the same locality and must rest there for eternity.

Within hours after Sajad’s killing, Kashmir separatists called for a daylong strike. This has paralysed the routine life. Though Sunday has contributed to decrease of footfalls in the main market, the businesses are mostly closed. In certain areas, skeletal traffic movement was reported. But parts of south Kashmir are tense because of the happenings in Pulwama on Saturday where cops raided a college and left more than 60 boys and girls injured.

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