Slain Cop’s Student Remembers The Erstwhile Teacher

by Parrey Babar

SRINAGAR: On March 31 evening, Rameez Raja was at his Khosipora village in Anantnag, discussing his wedding, scheduled after Eid. Less than 24 hours later, he is resting in his grave at his village graveyard.

People carry the coffin of slain cop Rameez Raja at Khosipora village in Anantnag on Thursday, April 1, 2021. Rameez was killed after militants attacked the residence of BJP leader in Nowgam Srinagar. KL Image by Shah Hilal

Rameez was killed in a militant attack on the residence of a Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader in Aribagh in Nowgam (Srinagar). He was injured and later succumbed on the way to hospital leaving behind his mother and brother.

Rameez Raja’s entry into the police was interesting. He was teaching mathematics in a private school, Moral High School Dialgam, in 2010. Then, he was aspiring to become a teacher. But his life took a dramatic turn when his father Abdul Salam Itoo, also a policeman, died of cancer.

Being the eldest of Salam’s two sons, Rameez joined the police department on compassionate grounds.

As a teacher, Rameez was a model, having friendly relation with students. Students would call him Sir but he would insist, call me Bhai. He was different from all other teachers, never believed in corporal punishment. He would prefer conducting his class in the Kashmiri language rather than Urdu or English.

When he was teaching he used to say“Ho mai chav tagan padnaun.Ho mai basan kihin ni. Fikri chuwoo taraan.” (Do you think, I am able to teach you, I do not think so. Are you able to understand?)

Slain cop Rameez Raja a resident of Khosipora village in Anantnag who was killed after militants attacked the residence of BJP leader in Nowgam Srinagar on Thursday, April 1, 2021.

Rameez always had a stylish hair cut, wearing jeans, sporting shoes and always seemingly energetic. While writing on a blackboard with chalk and rubbing it, he used to move hands on his hair and shirts, saying: “This is dust is a headache. It is disturbing my style”. He used to ask his students to pray for his admission in Mathematics and was keen to do his masters in Jammu University because he hated the winter temperature.

Though he had moved to police and there was a disconnect with his erstwhile pupils, scores of students assembled to pay him their last respects.  The entire village was crying as his coffin reached the village. It was a huge funeral procession in recent days.

(Author a postgraduate in mass communication has been a student of the cop who was killed in the militant attack.)

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