by Raashid Andrabi
SRINAGAR: Residing in an under-construction house, Ghulam Mohammad Dar, a Jammu and Kashmir Police head constable, was killed outside his residence in Kralpora area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district. This incident marks the third militant attack within a week in Kashmir. The killing has rendered the family inconsolable as they were expecting a marriage in March.
The Kralpora village transformed into a mourning ground after Dar was shot five times outside his residence. Ghulam Mohammad Dar, a constable in the Jammu and Kashmir Police, had dedicated 25 years of his life to serving in various districts.
On Tuesday, Dar had returned home from his office after two days at the District Police Lines in Srinagar. As he approached his home, with the evening sun casting long shadows, a sudden, inexplicable shout pierced the air. Seconds later, Dar lay on the ground, his life ebbing away.
Dar’s family, particularly his seven daughters, were plunged into despair. Their father, their sole provider, was taken from them in an instant. A cloud of sorrow hung over the household, darkening their lives as they struggled to come to terms with their loss.
“We are doomed. We just had our father, now we have no one,” lamented Dar’s eldest daughter. She vividly recalled that ill-fated evening when her father had been accompanying a labourer to his home. It was meant to be a routine task, but in an instant, their world was shattered.
“When he was coming back, we heard a loud shout and ran outside. In front of us was lying our father, a blood-ridden body, and no breath,” she recounted, the pain etched across her face.
The tragedy was compounded by the impending wedding of one of Dar’s daughters. The joyous anticipation that had filled their hearts was now replaced by sorrow and uncertainty. “I was getting married in a few months, and my father was working day and night to make my wedding easy, but we have nothing left now,” the daughter about to be married said.
Dar was the sole breadwinner for his family, with seven daughters and his wife depending on his income. With no sons or brothers to share the burden, the weight of their financial security rested solely on Dar’s shoulders.
Dar’s neighbour, speaking to the media, conveyed the gravity of the situation, “He was shot just outside his house. We took him to the Tangmarg hospital from where they referred him to Baramulla, and he passed away. He is survived by seven daughters and his wife. They had only one person earning in the family. He had no son or brother and was the sole breadwinner for his whole family. He had been working with the police for the last 25 years; he had served in every district and was a noble soul. Targeting innocents is wrong. They were preparing for the wedding of his daughter.”
Day before Dar was shot dead, Inspector Masroor Ahmad, another member of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, was shot in Srinagar. While enjoying a game of cricket on a local ground in Eidgah area, militants approached him and shot him at point-blank range with a pistol. His life now hangs in the balance, as he is battling for survival in a tertiary hospital in Kashmir.
Dilbagh Singh, the Director General of Police for Jammu and Kashmir, who superannuated on Tuesday, expressed his dismay, “The enemy wants to create violence here in the valley. We have lost so many people in the mad era of violence. The incidents that have taken place today and yesterday have to be seen from the same prism as they are failing, and they cannot see peace returning to the valley. These incidents are only and only that they don’t want peace to prevail here. We are working hard to completely stop all kinds of violence in the valley. We have already managed to find out some major proof with regard to yesterday’s attack. If a poor labourer is killed, I don’t think either God or police will forgive the perpetrators of this attack.”
Few days before, In Nowpora village of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, a labourer named Mukesh from the state of Uttar Pradesh lost his life to a militant attack. The region hadn’t witnessed such a spate of target killings and attacks for over a year, rekindling painful memories of a turbulent past in the Kashmir Valley.