Kupwara family struggles to console 7-month-old infant, whose mother was killed in encounter

Kashmir Wire

HANDWARA: Maryam Jan, a seven-month-old baby girl has spent most of the time in the lap of her father since her mother was killed by the government forces nearly two weeks ago.

Maysara Bano (22), her mother, was killed after security forces’ allegedly fired at her during an encounter near her house in Unisoo village of northern Kupwara district, on December 11, an allegation denied by police.

The woman was killed in cross-firing between militants and security forces, police claimed after her killing evoked massive protests in the area. Three suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants were killed in the gunfight that day.

“I am struggling to feed her but she is missing her mother in the heart of her hearts,” Ishfaq Ahmad, her father, and Maysara’s husband, told Kashmir Wire. “She is inconsolable.”

The little girl does not even know that she has been deprived of the much-needed mother but the devastating impact of the tragedy is visible on her face.

“Her grandparents also take hour-long turns to give the motherless baby a feeling of motherhood, while holding her in arms and feeding her milk throughout the day but apparently there is no alternative to a mother’s affection especially for a baby who is barely seven months old now,” Ishfaq added as he began to sob aloud.

Nearly two weeks have passed since the tragedy struck the poor family but the relatives and neighbours are still visiting the bereaved family to console them.

Devastated by the tragedy, the bereaved family members’ do not want the compensation.

“Nothing can compensate the loss of a human life, especially of a feeding mother. The guilty soldier who killed the mother of the little baby must be hanged or sentenced to life,” Ishfaq demanded.

The little daughter’s deteriorating health haunts the father struggling to give her the solace of the mother.

“Her deteriorating health is a major concern to me. How could she grow up without the mother’s affection at her infancy stage,” Ishfaq asked?


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