Pareteng (Kulgam), Dec 9: Rubina Jan, 29, was widowed on November 17, 2007 when Army killed her husband Reyaz Ahmad Sofi in a cold blood in this remote village of south Kashmir. Twenty-one days have passed since then, but the pain and misery of Rubina hasn't ended as she complains that murderers of her husband are still roaming free.
Reyaz (30), was killed by the troops of 9-Rashtriya Rifles on November 17 when he was going to his bakery shop on that fatefulday.
"I want to live for my children otherwise I have no desire to live. What did Army achieve by making me widow at young age and making my three children orphans," Rubina told Greater Kashmir on Sunday.
Rubina said that for all these days, her children have been looking for their father, but she has no answers.
"My son Mudasir has some heart ailments and since murder of his father, his condition is worsening day by day. We pretend before him that as if nothing has happened. But he can understand that cruel people have made him orphan. My youngest daughter Muskaan who is 3-year-old wakes up in the night and asks me where is her Abu Jee (father). How will I make her understand that her Abu Jee is no more," Rubina said amidst sobs.
The family has been promised a job by the government under SRO 43 and a compensation of Rs 1 lakh. Besides, Rubina said that several Army officers visited her house and offered help.
"They (Army officers) told me that if I withdraw the case, they will pay us huge amount. I want to convey it to them that human life is precious and money cannot mitigate the pain which we've to live with throughout our life."
As these Correspondents were talking to Rubina, Reyaz mother Zareefa Begum started wailing.
"My beloved son wasn't a Mujahid (militant), neither had he harmed anyone. His only sin was that he was working hard to earn for his family. Murderers killed my son. We won't take any help from murderers. Our only demand is that they should be punished," Zareefa said with tears rolling down her cheeks.
"If my son would have been jailed for 10-years, still there would have been hope that he will come back one day. But now there is no hope. Look at the faces of my grand children. All of your questions will be answered," she added.
Asked why Army killed her husband, Rubina grew angry, "What non-sense you are asking? He was an innocent that is what we know. Rest you should ask those who killed my husband."
Reyaz's son Mudasir who was sitting besides his mother was silently watching the proceedings.
Muadsir, who studies in second standard said he wants to become a doctor. "I'll work hard to become a doctor as my mother wants so. I'll do everything to fulfill her dream," he said.
As soon we asked him who loves him the most, Mudasir broke down and said, "Abu Jee used to take special care of me. But now he is no more."
The whole family started wailing and we left the scene.
As we reached on the road, Riyaz's father Ghulam Nabi Sofi came to us and offered us a packet of pears. "You didn't take anything at our home. Please accept it."
Some villagers also gathered at the spot and we again started to ask them about Reyaz.
"Army is pressurizing the witnesses of the case. Government says that guilty would be punished. But we want an open trial of the case so that facts come to the fore," the residents said.
They said that several pro-freedom leaders also visited the village when Reyaz was killed. "But they will never come to see our plight now. That time sympathies of people were with us, that is why they came here. Our only demand is that murderers should be punished." (With Malik Abdus Salam)
* Reyaz Ahmed Sofi was killed by soldiers on November 17 and Manzoor Ahmed was killed by unidentified gunmen on Nov 20.
* Both the killed men were bakers
* Tungando is 30 kilometres from Pareteng
* Names of their wives are identical
* Names of their mothers too are same
* Reyaz Ahmed Sofi has three children
* Manzoor's wife is 5 months pregnant