Farhat Ganie, his sister adds: “He dearly loved his nation and was finally martyred for the cause of his nation. Police would tell my father and brothers to throw me out of the house as they thought I was a helping hand to my martyred brother. He would be the first person to pelt stones in protests.” But Waseem didn’t enjoy the support of his whole family. His uncle would often rebuke him for taking part in protests. “I would scold him for stone pelting and tell him to not to do such things. Police brutality has fuelled the alienation of people in this town,” said his uncle. Waseem’s family allege that on the accusations of helping Waseem his cousin Nasir Ahmad Malla was badly interrogated and his legs were burnt on a chimney by the Special Operations Group of police.
In another incident, on the frightful evening of 31 January, 2011, a group of unidentified masked gunmen dragged two teenaged sisters out of their house and shot them dead in cold blood near the Rahim Sahib shrine. Akhtara, 18, and Arifa, 16, were beautiful but poor and often it is this ironical mix that defines life and its pain in kashmir. Fareeza, a destitute mother narrates the horrible tragedy of her lost daughters as she battles tears continuously rolling down her cheeks. “At the time of night prayers, our door was knocked by some masked gunmen and they took both my daughters with them and shot them despite our earth-shaking pleas. Their father Ghulam Nabi Dar, a manual labourer in a ration depot, had gone to the nearby mosque to offer prayers,” said Fareeza.
“Those cruel men had no humanity. My world is shattered now and i am equal to a living corpse,” added Fareeza. Ghulam Jeelani, a teenaged but a lean skeleton said: “We made several desperate pleas to these unidentified gunmen not to shoot my sisters, but those barbarians had no qualms or humanity left in them. I asked them to tell us about the mistakes of my sisters. I even told them that I would myself hang if they didn’t tell us but they did not reveal anything and killed them in a gruesome manner.”
But according to Ghulam, a mystery stoill sorrounds the murder of her sisters and they were not sure who the killers are. “If militants kill a person alleged of being a police informer, the norm in Sopore is that they first issue three warnings. In our case there was no warning and no reason given,” informed Ghulam.
Pertinently, the J&K Police had given out the names of two local Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) militants — Muzaffar Naikoo alias Muz Maulvi and Waseem Ganai — within hours of the killings but the United Jehad Council (UJC) rebutted the police claim and vowed to conduct its own investigation. Even Ghulam Jeelani seems to refute police claims. “The men were about 6 to 8 in number and were completely masked and we cannot say who they were. The police have also not done much to probe the case and merely naming someone does not make him guilty.”
Nazim Rashid, a young boy of Sopore is the other victim of circumstances. He was son of a retired policeman Ab. Rashid who migrated to Sopore in 2003 from Baramulla. Few months back, Nazim Rashid, 28, died in a police camp in Sopore, hours after the police picked him up for questioning about his alleged role in the killing of a civilian.
The incident caused widespread rage in valley and people poured onto the streets in protest, thus police had no option but to accept that Nazim died in police custody. Ab Rashid said, “My son was innocent -he was never involved in any wrong or illegal acts. He got clean chit from all state as well centre security agencies. They killed my son brutally and I have no hope of getting Justice. Here we are oppressed and government is unleashing terror on us. Government has no value for human life and they only apologize after killing an innocent. I was myself in police but I have never seen such policing, today police has become ten times dreadful than Nazis of Germany. I don`t expect anything from government. I have only faith in God.”
Looking at the other side of the coin it evident that whatever is the background of a person, the truth is, every killing ruins a famy here. Someone looses son, children become orphans and women become widows, leaving a painful scar in their hearts and mind forever. Muariffat, S.G constable in J&K police got killed in an IED blast in Sopore town in July 2011. Although he was admitted in ICU of SKIMS, but he lost battle of life and left behind wife Ruksana and two daughters Safoora (5 years) and Tanzeela (2 years).
Muariffat had joined J&K police department in 2000. Manzoor Ahmad, brother-in-law of Muariffat said, “Muariffat was dedicated to his duty and was very much satisfied with it. He was so busy that he would get very little time for his family. My sister supported him lot and never complained about his job. We asked him to get transferred to the Ganderbal but he refused and would say I am very happy and satisfied with my posting.”Married in 2005, Muariffat had seen many ups and downs in life and was planning for better life. He had borrowed housing loan from the bank for his dream house, but fate did not allowed him to see it.
Khaliq Mir, his father-in-law said: “There is no support from the government; even state’s Home Ministry is reluctant to help the family. I requested state Home Minister Nasir
About financial relief from government, Khalik said: “Since Muariffat had taken loan from a bank. So, almost whole of the amount went off in clearing the loan. A policeman invests his whole life for service and even sacrifices his life and time for his family and state. His family has also to compromise especially children. But then after his death no one cares, government does not give much support to his family; they have been left alone in deep agony.”
Describing the Kashmir situation as a curse for people here Khalik said, “We Kashmiris are becoming victims of divide and rule policy. The fact is that we are at receiving end in any way. Kashmiri people are dying from past 60 years and no one is bothered to help us.”Muariffat was a brave soldier, a loving husband, a caring father and above all a humble human. He was so passionate about his job that he would often say, “No bullet can penetrate my chest”. But the destiny went other way and Muariffat left this world and his family in grief and helplessness. His daughter Safoora is too young to understand his father’s death, she asks her mother about the father and often dials her father`s mobile number with the hope he might pick up the phone.
Almost all the families of victims in Sopore town have ironically an interesting connection with J&K Police in one way or the other. Even more surprising is the police connection of Waseem Ganie. Waseem’s Ganie’s brother had joined J&K Police, but had left the police service after his brother joined militancy. Nazim's father, Abdul Rashid Shalla, looks distraught and finds it hard to accept that his only son is no more and is pained by what he calls atrocities of J&K police, but surprisingly he is also a retired police serviceman. Selection grade constable Morifat Hussain who died in the IED blast has one of the brothers serving in the police.
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