Cricketer Naseer of Anantnag too fell to deadly pellets
Photo: Mir Wasim/GK

Cricketer Naseer of Anantnag too fell to deadly pellets

Naseer Ahmad Bhat, 24, from Seer area of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district was known in his village for his extraordinary fast bowling skills who had bought laurels to the local cricket.
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Naseer Ahmad Bhat, 24, from Seer area of South Kashmir's Anantnag district was known in his village for his extraordinary fast bowling skills who had bought laurels to the local cricket.

In one of the matches of inter-district tournament, he was instrumental in his cricket team BC-XI Seer's victory against Anantnag Lions, claiming 3 wickets. However, no one would have ever imagined that this would turn out to be his last match.

Naseer fell to the pellets fired by police while they were chasing protesters in the compound of his house on September 6.

"Our team was participating in the inter-district tournament in Anantnag and the tournament was to resume again after the month of Ramazan, but it couldn't due to the uprising which started on July 8. Naseer, who used to open bowling for us, took 3 early wickets in the last match we played against Lions before Ramazan and ensured the team's victory," said Mudasir Ahmad, one of his team mates and a close friend.

He said that his team always banked on Naseer's performance with the ball, and he never let the team down. " In a tournament organized by Ahmad and Haris charitable trust run by former banker MY Khan, he bagged man of the series award," Mudasir said.

He said Nasser had impressed many ace fast bowlers of district with his ability to swing both and new and old ball.

Naseer was the youngest among five siblings. He was pursing BA and was in second year of his studies at Boys Degree College Anantnag. With his family having limited financial resources he sometimes worked as part time carpenter and sometimes as a shawl hawker. "He even travelled outside state during winters to help his poor father, support his own studies and buy cricket kits."

"He was passionate about cricket but never shied away from even doing menial jobs to support me financially," said his father Ghulam Hassan Bhat, a farmer by profession.

Narrating the fateful day when his son fell to the pellets fired by police, Bhat said, "During the night of September 6 at around 2:45 A.M. forces raided Seer Hamdan village to arrest youth. People in the area came out and resisted their move following which forces vandalized the property, lobbed shells and fired pellets resulting in injuries to many. In the morning people hit the streets and started protesting peacefully. But soon huge contingent of police and paramilitary forces reached the area and resorted to indiscriminate tear shelling and pellet firing, injuring many more. As people ran for safety, forces chased them through the narrow alleys."

He said, "As Naseer came running and reached the compound of his house, police emptied an entire cartridge of pellets in his body from a point blank range."

Locals alleged that forces did not allow injured Nasser to be taken to hospital.

"We had to carry him on back through the paddy fields to reach sub-district hospital Seer," said the villagers.

They said that by the time he could be treated by the doctors and given first aid it was already too late.

The villagers lamented that had Naseer reached the hospital in time, his life would have been saved.

"Life and death is in Allah's hands but doctors at hospital told us that he had already lost lot of blood," villagers said.

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