As the rays of dawn cracked in the Chadoora village, it was atypical morning. Instead of birds chirping, it was dead calm around and forces with fingers on trigger had laid a siege all around. The quiet was pierced by a loud bang waking up everyone around.
Encounter has started between government forces and suspected militants, mobile phones and television screens declared.
As the new normal in Kashmir, the cordon of forces was surrounded another cordon of youth with stones.
As the gunshots were reverberating around, shouting Allah hu Akbar youth begun pelting stones on the forces—busy in gunning down militants trapped in a two story newly build house.
The forces retaliated, not only towards the direction of the house but backwards. The bullets began hitting the protesters. One of the bullets pierced the neck of Zahid Rasheed.
In the ‘battle field’ the civilian protesters lifted the body now draped in a pool of blood.
While he was being rushed to hospital by the protesting civilians, youth could be heard telling others to “keep fighting”.
Zahid, in his early 20’s, was referred to SMHS Srinagar by the helpless doctors of Sub-district hospital Chadoora. The ambulance zoomed off, people shouting out from its window to make way for the ambulance through jam-packed roads of city.
The ambulance reached SMHS hospital, but it was late. Zahid had succumbed by then.
Zahid was the youngest and only brother among his five sisters, two of whom are married.
Son of a businessman, Abdul Rasheed Ganie, Zahid had joined his father’s business after passing class 12th exams.