Kashmir’s Knife Crimes


It requires a lot of comparative data to suggest if teenage knife crimes have gone up but the fact is incidents of stabbing are reported more frequently in Kashmir. The worst incident was reported last week when a 16-year-old literally butchered a man, three times older than him. Babra Wani reports the series of stabbings and possible factors behind these incidents

Thousands of people came out in protest after a local young lady’s body was located by police in piecemeal at different places. She was kidnapped on March 7, and the body pieces were recovered on March 12, morning. The accused, a tile mason, has been arrested. Protesters were seeking him to be hanged.

Last week, a teenage boy was arrested by Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP) after he stabbed a man to death. The slain was 46, and the killer was barely sixteen. While the incident sent down shockwaves across Kashmir, this stabbing is not just the only one.

Off late, stabbing is emerging as a new trend, especially among the young. In May alone, around seven stabbing incidents were reported across Kashmir. So far, Kashmir witnessed more than ten incidents in 2023.

The growing rate of knife crimes in Jammu and Kashmir has started emerging as a matter of concern and people no longer brush off such stories under the rug. In certain cases, relationships are seen as the possible reasons. There are, at the same time, feelings of uncontrolled anger, rage and lack of patience as the primary cause. Though in most of the cases, the victims luckily survived but a few were so violent that they could not defend themselves till they died, either on the spot or in the hospital.

Batamaloo Incident

The residents of Mominabad in the sprawling Batamaloo’s area were left in deep shock when the news of Ajaz Ahmed Bhat’s brutal murder spread in the area. He had been stabbed multiple times. He could not make it to the hospital alive and was declared brought dead upon his arrival at the hospital.

The real shock came when the police revealed the details, after arresting a teenager, a 16-year-old boy, within less than 24 hours. The reason behind the attack was “anger and revenge.” The accused, according to the sleuths, had developed an “interest” in the victim’s teenage daughter and had some arguments with the victim as he objected to the advances.

Ajaz had left his home to shop nearby on May 30, evening. His daughter who was returning back from her tuition at the same time, his relatives claim, spotted her father lying unconscious in a pool of blood some 200 metres away from their home. Upon witnessing the horrific site, she started screaming and rushed towards her home to call her grandmother.

An unconscious Ajaz was rushed to SKIMS Medical College Bemina, by a team of cops, relatives and neighbours. However, he had no life left in him when he reached the hospital. Doctors revealed that he was stabbed multiple times and suffered from stab wounds to his chest and neck.

Ajaz’s family members said he was the sole bread earner of his family and did some meagre jobs to make both ends meet. His close relatives told reporters that Ajaz went to meet his elder sister, who is suffering from Cancer and later called his other sister, with whom he was on a phone call when he asked her to disconnect the call hurriedly.

“I had just dropped the (his) call when I received another call from my sister saying that she can hear screams from Ajaz’s house,” his grieving younger sister revealed. Ajaz was the lone son of his ageing mother. He and his wife had separated when his daughter was only eight months old.

Kashmir's Knife Crimes
Crime Scene, murder

Hours after Ajaz’s demise, his daughter was taken by the police, his relatives claimed. “There were no female police officers to take her, and she was kept in the police station for two days,” one of the family members claimed. “Two days later we received a phone call from the police to take her back as she was not involved in the matter, however just a day later she was summoned again.”

They further claimed that they still do not know why she was released if she was involved, and if she had nothing to do with the case why she was summoned again. “Just think what impact will it have on her mental health,” a grieving relative of Ajaz said. “She is not even able to grieve for her father properly.” Another relative alleged that the accused had been stalking the victim’s daughter for months now.

However, Rakesh Balwal, the City Police Chief said that these claims of the daughter’s arrest are baseless. He stated that the incident happened at around 6 pm and the arrest was made within eight hours of the incident. “The victim’s daughter is the prime witness in this case. And when we arrested the culprit, she helped in identifying him,” Balwal said.

The investigation has just started. The police said they will be pleading before the court that the accused teenager should be treated as an adult given the nature of the crime. Cops are keeping many things to their chests till they file the charge sheet. Superintendent of Police (SP) South Srinagar, Gaurav Sikarwar, addressed the press conference and revealed the boy had been training himself for the crime for a long time. What are the other details of the crime will be known once the cops file a charge sheet against the boy, who is living in some other locality, not far away from the spot he committed the heinous crime.

In Baramulla

On May 13, a stabbing incident took place in Gulshan Abad (Baramulla). It was a teenage boy who survived with injuries to his arm and head.

Identified as Mohsin Ahmad, 18, son of Tariq Ahmad, he was rushed to the hospital and saved. Police said the attack was carried out by three people, and all of them were arrested.

In cases in which the victims survive the police solve the case quickly because the victim knows his attackers. In this case, the attackers had thrashed the body before stabbing him. Though the trio is arrested, the motive behind the attack is still not known.

In Mohalla Teliyan of Sopore, a twelve years old boy suffered injuries after being stabbed by his friend. Prior to the incident, they had an altercation and eventually during the dead of night in April, the stabbing took place. The boy was saved as he was immediately evacuated to the hospital.

Down South

Such cases are reported almost everywhere. In the Anantnag district, three separate stabbing incidents, two of which took place on the same day, were reported and at least three people sustained injuries.

In Mattan’s Akad area, a youth was injured after being stabbed by some unknown people using a kitchen knife. The victim was identified as Sameer Ahmad Magray, son of Abdul Rashid Magray, a resident of Hardu Akad.

“Actually, the victim recorded a video of a boy with a girl,” a local resident said. “The boy got angry and with the help of his friends stabbed the victim.” The incident happened on May 10, when the victim was sitting in Akad Park.

The same day, in the nearby Krangsoo village, a similar incident took place. The victim in this incident was identified as Adnan Altaf, 16, who was at his maternal home in Krangsoo.

Fiancé Stabber Sent to 6-day police remand

Adnan was stabbed by his childhood friend outside his maternal home. Locals from the area stated that both the victim and the accused were interested in the same girl and were constantly stalking her. The accused asked the victim to, “back off”. However, Adnan straight away refused to do so. “The accused called Adnan to meet him prior to the attack, but he refused to go. So, the accused went outside Adnan’s house and called him out and on the pretext of a hug stabbed him with a knife,” a local resident of Krangsoo said. The culprit was immediately arrested following the incident. Adnan suffered injuries to his shoulder and arms. Both the accused and the victim are students.

On May 3, a young man, Adil Ahmad Bhat, survived with injuries after being stabbed in the Marhama area of Bijbehara. Adil received injuries in his chest.  The motive for the attack is still not known.

Knife with A Couple

It was a case of a stabbing that took Kashmir by storm. It even went to the front pages of the newspapers outside Kashmir because it was perhaps the first incident of its kind in which a young woman stabbed her fiancé. The woman in the May 2 incident was identified as ‘Facebook Journalist’ Asifa Bashir who previously had been in the news for her dead cat.

Police said the lady stabbed her fiancé, Adil Ahmad Kaloo in the Darish Kadal locality. Kaloo, a resident of Bemina, had tied the knot after falling in love with her. According to the victim’s family, Adil received a call from Asifa for a lift, and he obliged.

When Adil went to drop her off, the two got involved in a verbal duel over some issue. “The argument between them turned ugly and Asifa stabbed him in his abdomen,” they said.

Six youth allegedly arrested involved in stabbing of a local youth besides injuring another outside Badamwari garden on Monday March 30,2022

A video of an injured Adil crying for help also went viral on social media. Hours after the incident another video went viral in which Asifa, clad in a mustard-coloured dress was accompanying an injured Adil to the hospital.

This incident triggered widespread condemnation from people from all walks of life. She was arrested and has been bailed out already. She is back to social media.

SSP Rakesh Balwal said the police will be producing a charge sheet in this case soon.

Interestingly, Asifa made it to social media when her video with her dead cat went viral last month. She had claimed that a pet store was responsible for her cat’s death, after which the owner of the pet store filed a defamation case against her.

In Ganderbal

The list of stabbing attacks seems to be never-ending. At the beginning of May, two teenage students were injured after a young boy attacked them with a sharp-edged weapon. The incident took place at Beehama. They were local residents identified as Hidayat Ahmad Tantray and Ibrahim Ahmad Tantray.

The attack, locals said, took place outside a private school. The investigations revealed that both the attacker and the victims were schoolmates. The accused, a student of class twelve, had always been involved in fights with other students. As the injured were shifted to SKIMS for treatment, the police located the accused attacker at Barossa village.

The sudden knife attack left the locals aghast. There were multiple versions in circulation. However, the police issued a formal statement.

Jammu and Kashmir Police arrested Jasir Ahmad Gadda, for stabbing his mother-in-law in Srinagar on June 20, 2022. Pic: JKP

“During the investigation, it came out that the incident took place over minor issues and some more students were involved in the scuffle. (The attacker) who is a student of class 12th of Dreamland School has been aggressive since the beginning and as per the school principal he was involved in multiple fights with other students in the past”, the police statement said. “With all the legal procedures and formalities, the delinquent will be produced before Juvenile Board and other students who were involved in the scuffle will also be brought and produced before the Board.”

Budgam Murder Case

On March 9, the residents of Nasrullahpora Budgam woke up to the shocking news of heinous murder. Kaiser Yousuf Zargar, a resident of Gowharpora village in Chadoora belt, was stabbed viciously with a knife to death by Abid Hussain Dar, a resident of Pathan Pora in Nasrullahpora.

Abid had acquired the knife a day prior to the incident indicating that he knew what he had to do. Both the victim and the accused were employees of Cooperative Societies Limited. After carrying out the heinous act, the accused went to police station Budgam, and confessed to his crime.

It was the outcome of police investigations that also established an alleged ‘love triangle’. It was revealed that despite being married, the two men were interested in the same girl, their colleague. Married for 18 months, the slain Kaiser, was father to a month-old baby girl. The JKP has meticulously investigated the case, established the murder and submitted a charge sheet on June 1, before the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate in Budgam.

The Nasrullahpora murder preceded the horrific murder of a young girl at the hands of a mason in Soibug. After kidnapping the young lady, the mason cut her into pieces and buried them in different places. He had taken her home as his cancer-suffering wife was away with her parents.

The brutal Soibug murder had a very intricate story of the killer’s connections with the family. These details are expected to be part of the charge sheet as and when it will be filed. The murder evoked so much shock that almost everybody who matters in the social and political circles of Kashmir reacted and ensured that they condoled the death by visiting the distraught family.

Jammu Horror

Another gory incident of the Soibug kind took place in Jammu where a love affair turned fatal and the female dentist was stabbed to death by her boyfriend. The accused, however, did not just stop there, he tried to die himself too.

Sumedha Sharma, the victim, was a resident of Talab Tillo in Jammu and the accused Johar Ganai, was a resident of Janipur.  The duo had done their Bachelor’s in Dental Surgery (BDS) from a dental college and were classmates, probably becoming friends. Sharma started pursuing her Master’s in Dental Surgery (MDS) in Delhi, unlike Ganai who stayed back in Jammu. The couple had been in a relationship for years.

Johar, after stabbing his girlfriend, stabbed himself too and sustained injuries to his abdomen.

Angry over the brutal murder, women protested in Soibug village in March 2023.

One of Ganai’s relatives got a tip of the mess on March 8, after he saw Johar’s Facebook post that he was, “committing suicide as he was fed up with his life.”. He quickly informed the police. After police broke into Johar’s locked house, they found the victim’s body lying in a pool of blood and the accused lying in the bathroom, injured.

The couple, as the initial investigations suggested, got engaged in a fight after which the accused, a doctor by education, stabbed his girlfriend. She had come from Delhi to celebrate Holi with her family and meet him. Police are investigating the case and the chargesheet will eventually tell the entire story. The stabber has been booked for murder.

Whether the stabbing is emerging as a trend or it is being reported because of social media is yet to be investigated. There is no clear data that would offer some idea about the changes that incidents of stabbing might have exhibited on a year-on-year basis. The fact is that stabbing is gradually getting mainstream.

Teenage knife crime is already a global mainstream. In Jammu and Kashmir, it was reported less often. Tragically, all the stabbings in Jammu and Kashmir are not teenage-specific. In most of these knife crimes, there is no involvement of drugs. What is driving this trend may require a scientific investigation.

Till that happens, SSP Balwal insists that civil society must play its role. “Parents should keep a watch on the behaviours of their children,” Balwal said. “And religious preachers also have a very important role to play.” He also suggested people install CCTV cameras, which will help in curbing not only such serious incidents but other incidents and crimes as well.


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