by Yawar Hussain
SRINAGAR: The killing of Special Police Official (SPO) Fayaz Ahmad along with his wife Raja Begum, 48, and daughter Rafiya Jan, 22, on Sunday evening in Hariparigam village of Tral has left the locals perplexed and questioning. The only survivors are the slain man’s daughter-in-law and a minor granddaughter.
Detailing the events of Sunday evening, locals told Kashmir Life that Fayaz’s daughter-in-law said there was a knock at the door at around 10.28 pm on Sunday when she was talking to her husband Liyaqat Fayaz, 26, a soldier, posted in Khrew area of Pulwama district.
“The slain daughter, Rafia Jan told her father Fayaz Ahamd that someone was knocking at the door,” the locals quoted the daughter-in-law saying. They said that daughter-in-law told them that they heard the men outside calling out in Kashmiri “Fayaza Darwaz Khoul (Fayaz open the door)”.
“As soon as he (Fayaz) opened the door, they fired indiscriminately with one bullet going through his cheek and exiting through the side of his skull. He was hit multiple times with one bullet puncturing his neck,” the locals quoted the inconsolable lady saying.
One of Fayaz’s neighbours told Kashmir Life that they heard shots being fired around 10.30 pm but were too afraid to move out. It was after the silence returned that some young men decided to reach Fayaz’s home. “Their relatives had already taken his wife and daughter to GMC Anantnag,” the neighbour added.
Police said they have registered a case and investigations have started. Residents said while Fayaz had multiple bullet injuries, his daughter was hit in her chest. However, his wife had a bullet injury in her neck but is believed to have died of possible cardiac arrest. The autopsy reports, however, are awaited.
Father died on the spot and the mother-daughter died in the hospital. After er other’s death at GMC, Anantnag, Rafia was shifted to SKIMS in a critical condition where she died. By the time, the mother-daughter wee evacuated to GMC Anantnag, Liyaqat had reached from Khrew.
The unknown gunmen, believed to be masked and two in number, spared Fayaz’s daughter-in-law after she pleaded with her minor daughter in lap. Residents claim the police have detained a neighbour of Fayaz and also seized the cell phones of two young men. The claim was not immediately confirmed by the police.
Inspector-General of Police Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said the two militants belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit carried out the attack. He visited the family during the day and expressed his solidarity and condolences. There, he told reporters that SPO Fayaz was the prime target of the gunmen.
So far no militant outfit has staked the claim to the three killings.
“They fired indiscriminately at the SPO. His wife and daughter came to rescue him, but were shot at,” IGP said. The IGP further said that as per their inputs two militants, “who looked foreign by their appearance” carried out the attack.
As the three corpses were brought for the burial to the village, a pall of gloom descended upon the dusky hamlet. It was a huge funeral procession and the shocked and scared people were unwilling to talk to strangers.
I strongly condemn brutal terrorist attack on SPO Fayaz Ahmad & his family at Awantipora. This is an act of cowardice & perpetrators of violence will be brought to justice very soon. My deepest condolences to the family of martyr & prayers for the recovery of injured.
— Office of LG J&K (@OfficeOfLGJandK) June 27, 2021
The triple killing was widely condemned. The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President, Dr Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Omar Abdullah have termed the killings a reprehensible act of violence.
No words are strong enough to condemn the cowardly attack in Awantipora that claimed the lives of a JKP officer Fayaz Ahmad, his wife & daughter. May Allah Ta’aala grant them maghfirat & their loved ones the fortitude to bear this loss.
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) June 28, 2021
“The heart wrenching mindless violence has saddened me. Such barbarism should be denounced down rightly at all levels. I condemn the attack in unequivocal terms; there is no place for such barbarism in today’s emancipated world. The perpetrators of the blood bath have shattered the dreams of yet another family, yet another childhood has been lost. I pray for peace to those whose precious lives were devoured in the incident,” Dr Farooq was quoted saying by the party spokesman.
“I unreservedly condemn the dastardly and cowardly militant attack on the J&K police SPO Fayaz Ahmed, his wife, and his young daughter at their home last night. I pray they receive their place in Jannat and their bereaved loved ones forbearance during this terrible time,” Omar Abdullah added.