Greetings, grief knock together at Sagar’s door
Srinagar, Dec 12: As Srinagar witnessed coldest night of the season at minus 3.2 degree Celsius last night, the Himalayan chill was quite visible even at the high security official residence of Ali Muhammad Sagar, a senior minister in the state Cabinet, who had a close shave the same evening when unidentified gunmen opened fire at his ancestral home at Nawa Bazar.
Sitting pensive Sagar’s breath was visible in the chill as he kept running his fingers through his grey beard at his plush Church Lane residence. A few people are sitting close to him, but all silent. “Congrats! You are alright!” These words break the lull as one more guest drops in and hugs him.
“Alhamdulillah we all are fine but the boy who had been living with us all these years is no more,” Sagar replies while referring to his PSO Gulzar Ahmed who died in the deadly attack.
As per the family sources, Sagar was at entrance of his ancestral home waiting for guests when the attack occurred. In fact his entire family, including two sons former City Mayor, Salman Ali Sagar and Dr Ishfaq Sagar were at the reception for guests at engagement of his two nieces.
Being the big names in the family, Sagar and his sons were stranding next to the main door, which like most other houses in the congested area, opens straight on the main road.
But what happened the very next moment was beyond their wildest imaginations. Some gunmen appeared outside and started firing indiscriminately towards the entrance.
“We couldn’t ascertain what was happening… Dad shouted to his escort not to open fire,” Salman recaps. But the gun-battle between the two groups continued for around 15 minutes till the gunmen fled leaving three of Sagar’s security personnel wounded, one of whom, Gulzar, succumbed.
“Our being alive is simply miracle,” says Salman. Being alive, the Sagars have reasons to celebrate. But the death of Gulzar, who left behind four daughters and wife, has added another dimension. “One of his daughters is mentally retarded and he was always concerned about her well being… Who will look after the family now,” Sagar says.
Meanwhile a guest suggests that Ministers should avoid public gatherings.
“That’s just not possible,” replies Sagar adding “People have expectations from us.”
But then what is the solution? “Well all this is the part of political life,” Sagar replies with a smile.
Everybody goes silent again. In the meantime, another guest drops in, in the dead of the dark. He breaks the lull with words of congrats. And Sagar narrates the tale, again!
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Dec 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Dec 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 13 Dec 2011 00:00:00 IST
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