The Drowned Cop

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by Aakash Hassan

Afroz Lone.

Afroz Lone.

On day 2, of Burhan’s killing; Mattan received body of its cherished cricketer, Afroaz Ahmad Lone, an SPO of four years.

Afroaz, 24, died on July 9, when, the Rakhshak he was driving,‘skipped’ down into Jehlum near Sangam. Police said, he was attacked by the protesters but family is unaware about the details. He had injury mark on his head, perhaps caused with the vehicle he was in, “rest God Knows,” says Meema his mother, in broken voice.

When Lone’s body reached his home, everyone was shocked, particularly the Tik Bagh, the village play ground the platform of his rise.

Shahid, often called after the famous Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi by his friends for his finished strokes, was no more.

“It was after he dropped his studies after 12th standard that I insisted him to join police,” says his father Mohammad Shafi Lone. “He used to spend whole day in Tik bagh or other place playing cricket and there was no one to earn.”

Afroaz agreed to join police after one of his friends told him that his sports background will help him. After joining police he did played number of tournaments for department in the state and outside.

“After returning from his duty, he used to pick bat and play for rest of the time. He was hopeful that he will one day rise on to become cricketer like Parvaiz Rasool,” says Rumysa Jan, his sister. “When Parvaiz Rasool joined Indian team he came running and showed me his photos with him. He told me that I am no less than Parvaiz, you just see.”

The trophies amassed in his room are testimony to his sportsmanship. But the ‘man of the match’ has left, two younger sisters and aged parents, behind.

“I am unable to work now, and doctor has told me to rest at home,” says Shafi. “Had I been wealthy I would have sent my son to cricket academy not as SPO in police.”

Everyone in his village remembers him as the great cricketer, perhaps that is why his funeral was held in Tik Bagh, where he has spend most of his life waving the bat.

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