Khaipora up in arms against Sameera’s killing
‘WE WON’T SIT UNLESS ACCUSED ARE BROUGHT TO BOOK’
ARIF SHAFI WANI
Khaipora (Tangmarg), Aug 26: Every eye is moist in this picturesque hamlet perched on the foothills of famous ski-resort Gulmarg over the brutal murder of a teenage girl Sameera Bhat who went missing on Monday and later her body with countless injury marks was recovered from an isolated field.
Braving incessant rains, hundreds of villagers including women and children of Khaipora today marched in a procession to Tangmarg— to press for punishment to the accused. “Punish Sameera’s killers,” the protesters continuously shouted.
Sameera’s family and the villagers suspect the hand of an Army source in the killing. But the inordinate delay in initiating investigation into the matter has irked the villagers who accuse the authorities of trying to hush up the case.
VILLAGE IN MOURNING
The villagers of Khaipora described the 17-year old Sameera as a modest girl who used to voluntarily run a Darsgah at her home. For the past 3-days, the village which is 47 kms away from the summer capital, is reverberating with protests over her killing. “We will not sit unless Sameera’s killers are brought to book. Today it is Sameera, tomorrow it can be turn of our daughters,” the protesters shouted.
Mourners from adjoining villages have been making a beeline at Sameera’s house to express solidarity with her family and lend support to their struggle for justice.
Sameera’s mother, Hanifa is so shocked that she lies speechless among mourners in a tent outside her modest house. Her five daughters and a son with moist eyes gaze at every visitor.
On Monday, most of Sameera’s family members including her mother had rushed to Kunzer village where two of their relatives were killed in an accident. Sameera’s father, Maqbool Bhat was also not at home as he works as carpenter in Uri Electric Hydel Project.
Sameera’s grandfather, Ghulam Muhammad Bhat recounts that on that fateful day she as usual taught Quran to the children of the village.
Controlling his emotions, Bhat said she prepared tea for his old friend who was not observing fast due to illness. He said at around 10 am, she went to the family’s agricultural fields in the village.
On way he said she visited her sister-in-law’s house to know about her health. “She stayed there for a few minutes and even trimmed her nails before leaving for the fields,” Bhat said.
He said after few hours, a girl saw her moving back towards the house. “The girl told us Sameera suddenly disappeared and though she might have taken shortcut to home,” Bhat said.
When she did not return till afternoon, her grandfather searched for her in the village but failed. I hoped against the hope that she must have been to some relative’s place. But we failed to trace her till late night, her mother cried without break attracting the attention of neighbours. The villagers spread in different directions and searched for her whereabouts for the whole night but failed,” he said.
In the early morning, a girl found Sameera’s body in a field just a few hundred meters from her house. “Her body had violence marks. There was a deep wound on her head and strangulation marks near the neck. There were bite marks on her chest and thigh. Her clothes were torn and soiled. This clearly suggested that she had resisted the rape attempts. It seemed she had recognized assailants that is why they murdered her,” Bhat said and broke down.
However, he said Sameera’s was murdered at some other place and later her body was dumped in the field. “We had thoroughly searched the place where from Sameera’s body was recovered. But we did not find anything. She has been killed according to a plan,” he said.
‘ARMY SOURCE IS INVOLVED’
Sameera’s family and villagers suspect the hand of an Army source who has been encouraging use of drugs and liquor in the area. “We have given his name to the police but they have not arrested him yet. Police should also investigate the involvement of troopers as the suspect was working for them. We want stern punishment for the accused and have decided to continue the agitation till the family gets justice,” said Muhammad Ashraf a local.
“Every house here is in a state of mourning. After Sameera’s killing no girl dares to step out of the house. If the authorities are serious, they should arrest the suspects,” the villagers added.
‘NOBLE AND RELIGIOUS GIRL’
The villagers vouch for Sameera’s moral character. “She was shy and modest girl. She always used to cover her head with a scarf and down her gaze when she passed through village,” said Sameera’s neighbor Abdul Rashid.
Many children of the villages silently sat in a corner of the tent full of women mourning the killing.
“She used to teach us Quran and encouraged us to regularly offer prayers and respect our parents,” said Firdous Ahmad, a boy.
Police said an FIR (80/2010) under section 302 RPC has been registered. However, the SDPO Tangmarg, Muhammad Rafiq said nobody has been arrested yet in the case. “We have handed over the case to the Crime Branch,” he said.
Block Medical Officer, Tangmarg GM Dar said Sameera’s death was caused due to head injury and cervical fracture.
“Autopsy revealed that she had violence marks over the body. Her neck was fractured and there were injury marks on her head. We are awaiting the FSL reports,” the BMO said.
A lady doctor who was part of the team which conducted Sameera’s autopsy said the slides were negative for spermatozoa. “This rules out the possibility of rape. We have preserved the slides and would send them to FSL,” she said.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 26 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 26 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 27 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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‘WE WON’T SIT UNLESS ACCUSED ARE BROUGHT TO BOOK’
ARIF SHAFI WANI
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