Father in grave, son Sohaib thinks he’s on Hajj

Thokru family in this South Kashmir village of Anantnag district was elated following the arrival of a second baby, however little they knew that their joy will be short lived and both their children will be rendered orphan only after one month.
Father in grave, son Sohaib thinks he’s on Hajj
GK Photo
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Thokru family in this South Kashmir village of Anantnag district was elated following the arrival of a second baby, however little they knew that their joy will be short lived and both their children will be rendered orphan only after one month.

Ajaz Thokru, 35, an auto rickshaw driver by profession and only male member of the family was shot dead by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) men near Akad park on July 9 when he was proceeding for funeral prayers in absentia for Hizb commander Burhan Wani – killed in an encounter a day before in Kokernag area.

Ajaz's father, Ali Muhammad passed away 6 years back and since then he toiled hard to support his family consisting of four sisters and an aged mother. He married off his three sisters and was now contemplating to marry off his younger sister too.

Only four years back he got married to Aafia Jan, 28, and fathered a son – Sohaib- now 3. On June 6 he became father of a second son- Aafaq.

"We were all celebrating the birth of our second child and Ajaz was over the moon. He had set lot of dreams for his children and always wanted to see them educated," says his wailing mother Maryam Bano.

"He used to say, 'I could not pursue my education but will make sure that my children get the best possible one. I spent my childhood in abject poverty but will make sure that my children live in happiness'," says Maryam.

She said that Ajaz would fulfil all his wishes of his elder son Sohaib.

"Ajaz would put all the toys and latest gadgets at the disposal of his son so that he enjoys his childhood to the fullest," said Maryam.

She says that Sohaib keeps on inquiring about his father.

"When he asks about his father we tell him that he has gone on Hajj and will be back shortly," says Maryam.

How long will we keep on giving him false hopes?" she asked. 

As Maryam was narrating the family's loss, Ajaz's wife Aafia feeding her newly born son in one of the corners of the room kept on breaking down as women around try to console her. 

Ajaz, according to villagers and eyewitness, was shot dead by the forces when he was trying to save two injured youth.

"People first offered funeral prayers at Silgam and later they proceeded for another one at Akad. However, as they started assembling near the park, the ITBP men resorted to indiscriminate firing. One spotting two youth from neighboring villages lying in a pool of blood, Ajaz went to lift them up but as soon as he tried, the forces shot at him too," said an eyewitness Bashir Ahmad.

He said that forces continued to fire for around five minutes as a result of which the wounded could not be taken to hospital immediately.

"After some time Ajaz along with other injured was shifted to SDH Seer from where they were referred to District Hospital Anantnag. However, Ajaz was declared bought dead," Bashir said.

He said that on way to District Hospital the paramilitary forces beat up the injured as well as those accompanying them, at Iqbal market in Anantnag town.

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