by Umar Khurshid
SRINAGAR: It was high drama at Abdul Majeed Dar’s Shahgund residence on Sunday night that ended with the brutal stabbing of his wife Shakeela, 41. The family lost most of their possessions – cash and jewelry, which they had collected for the marriage of their two daughters.
It was around slightly past 9 pm, when Dar decided to have an evening walk in the lawns of his home, located on the road that connects Hajin with Sopore. He had actually come home after visiting some of the carpet looms he either owns or is associated with. Dar has been an active worker of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that lost power recently after the BJP moved out of the alliance. His main source of income came from carpet weaving.
As he got back into his home, he went to the bathroom for ablutions. It took a bit of time and he did not fell any kind of tensions as everything was normal. Once he was out and wanted to offer Isha prayers, he felt somebody had located a pistol on his head. It was shocking to the family.
“Are you associated with PDP?” the masked man with ‘pistol’ asked.
“Yes. I am, I am working for the people and if there is some mistake I have committed, please tell me,” Dar said he responded. As Dar was revealing the details, he was crying and was in deep pain.
“The government has given you a pistol and that is in your locker, open it,” the masked man ordered.
In order to open the locker, the entire family – with Dar under the trigger of the pistol, went up to the first floor where the locker is. Dar gave the keys to his daughter Ishrat Majeed 18, to open the locker.
There was no pistol. But there was cash and jewellery, which include Rs 3, 45,000 hard cash. The other valuables in the locker included a necklace worth of Rs 2.5 lacs, six gold coins (locally called pounds), two small necklaces and five finger rings.
As the masked man amassed the entire possession, Dar got suspicious. “Mujahedeen do not loot. Are you a Mujahid or a looter,” Dar dared asking the hooded man, with ‘pistol’ still; on his head.
This, Dar said, unnerved the young man. “I tried to seize this moment and I attacked the masked man and tried to catch him by his throat,” Dar said. “I asked him Pasisa Deadou, Tum Dakoo Hou. As I was busy in a scuffle, my wife fell on his feet and there was a sort of commotion. She was begging him for mercy, asking him to take away everything but leave him (me).”
This unnerved the masked man, further. He somehow managed to free one of his hands, ducked down and pulled a knife from his shoes. He attacked my wife who first received an injury in her abdomen and later in her throat. The latter injury was pretty serious.
“As the family saw her in pool of blood, lying flat in the room, we preferred trying to save her,” Dar said. “The masked man got this opportunity and fled with whatever he had collected.” Dar said his family was terrified as the blood was oozing out of her wounds like a fountain.
It was after the masked man fled, his son told Dar that the man was already in the house when Dar was taking his evening walk. He had barged into his son’s room and made similar queries, earlier. After getting no answers to his queries or the key, he was so desperate about; the masked man had come down to the ground floor. Well before the boy could talk to father, he saw his father under the control of a ‘pistol’ with all others following him to the room where the locker is.
In the next few minutes, the commotion attracted the local population. “Almost 15 minutes later, there was army movement in the area,” Dar said. “I believe they were three people, one got in and two were waiting outside.” He said he is sure they were not militants and were dacoits who are trying to spread terror.
It was with the help of the residents that Shakeela was driven to the Primary Health Centre Hajin where doctors gave her first aid and later advised them to rush to Srinagar. They reached the Jhelum Valley College hospital, now called SKIMS College, where doctors started treating her. She soon breathed her last.
Dar had married to Shakeela, a resident of Higam village of Sopore town in 994. Dar has four children, Ishafaq Majeed, 21, an elder one, Ishrat Majeed 18, Dawood Majeed, 16, and Nighat Majeed, 6. She was a faithful wife and has supported her husband throughout. She finally gave her life to him and that is making Dar restless. He is still in his white kurta and pyjama that has the blood of his wife on it. “They attacked from behind,” Dar said. “Had they mounted an attack from the the front, I would not have let him go.” He said they had shown the same pistol to my son and terrified him.
“We have registered a case and investigations are on,” SP Bandipore Sheikh Zulfiqar Ahmad said. “They were three persons of whom one had barged in and looted the family and fled.” He said they have nothing much in the case to share with the media, right now.