In pictures: 2 ‘martyrs’, 2 widows, 2 orphans, 1 village

Text: Aakash Hassan

Photography: Bilal Bahadur

Srinagar

Last night Ashtengo hamlet of Bandipora fell silent when guns went blazing in Srinagar peripheries. Two of its youth who were out in the capital city to earn for their families were to return back—dead. The first one was working in a private company and another one a cop.

KL Images by Bilal Bhadur

The events unfolded in the Rangreth area of Srinagar on Thursday evening after mild stone pelting incident on SSB forces. They retaliated, but with the bullets. Before anyone could understand what had happened, bullet had already pierced the chest of Naseer Ahmad Sheikh. The 21-year-old, hailing from Ashtengo Bandipora, was referred to JVC hospital where from he was shifted to SMHS hospital for specialized treatment.

While Sheikh was battling for hours between life and death on the operation table, valley slept. But Ashtengoo did not. Another news had already stuck Kashmir this time from Hyderpora Srinagar.

Suspected militants fired upon police patrol party near J&K bank and a constable was killed. He was identified as Shahzad Dilwar Sofi from same Ashtango village.

While he was referred to a hospital and declared brought dead, till then Naseer Sheikh had succumbed.

Relatives of slain policeman mourn near his coffin during a wreath laying ceremony in Srinagar on June 16, 2017, PHOTO BY BILAL BAHADUR

Naseer’s body reached village before first rays of sun would fall. Villagers stayed with his bullet riddled body. In the backdrop of pro-freedom slogans and Taranas reverberated from mosque loudspeakers. He was married seven months back, his relatives said.

As the dawn fell he was draped in green flag and taken to Eidgah of the village. There was an apparent hurry; another coffin was on the way, the locals said.

As his widow was crying her heart out another body reached village by noon.

It was the body of constable. As his coffin was lowered, the people shouldering him shouted ‘Aazadi’. Another funeral was offered in same Eidgah after less than four hours.

Policemen watch from windows inside a police headquarters during a wreath laying ceremony in Srinagar on June 16, 2017, after two policemen were killed and another was injured in attacks by militants. Two policemen were killed and another injured in two different attacks by militants on June 15. PHOTO BY BILAL BAHADUR

Constable Shahzad was married 18 months before and was father of twin babies, the locals informed.

Two young women were widowed and three children, who are yet to understand this world, lost their fathers, and we lost two sons who grew before our eyes, said an elderly man from the village who was apparently bewildered.

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