A narrow lane leading to the residence of Gowhar Nazir Dar—who was killed when Central Reserve Police Force men fired at protesters yesterday—looks like an alley enveloped in thick fog. The smoke emanating from teargas shells, lobbed by police and paramilitary forces on mourners, is giving tough time to people walking in the street at Mustafabad in HMT area on Srinagar outskirts.
All mourners visiting the bereaved family cough or sneeze as they enter Gowhar's residence. Some of the teargas shells have landed inside the tent where women are mourning the youth's death.
Gowhar, 22, was killed when Central Reserve Police Force men fired at protesters at Zainakote HMT on Saturday—the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Srinagar.
"They (cops) snatched everything from us and yet they are not satisfied. They have no mercy on mourners. Look how ruthless they are," said an elderly person, sitting outside the house of slain Gowhar, as he points towards police and paramilitary forces firing teargas shells from the entrance of the lane.
Sitting in a corner of the tent, Gowhar's mother Shameema is dumbstruck. She is not able to utter a word. She falls unconscious as she begins to cry. "They snatched my world," she said, and instantly fell unconscious.
As women around try to console her, Gowhar's two younger sisters start crying aloud, making everyone inside the tent weep.
Gowhar, according to his relatives, had a dream to help his father who runs a small workshop at HMT. "Gowhar recently told his father that he wanted to go outside J&K for a job. He wanted to help his father," said Inayatullah Dar, the slain youth's cousin. He said Gowhar yesterday went to buy milk on a scooty. "On his return, he saw a man lying on road. He stopped his scooty to see what had happened and within no time, he was shot in his head," he said. "It wasn't a teargas shell, but a bullet fired by CRPF men."
Many youth, who had assembled at Gowhar's residence, said when the tragedy occurred, there was no stone pelting going on in the area that time. "Things had settled down. The CRPF men, however, went berserk and started beating up people ruthlessly," they said.
Gowhar, according to locals, was a very gentle boy. "He was fond of going to gym and would often ask us to accompany him," his friends told Greater Kashmir. "He was very intelligent. Sometimes he would say he wanted to take his entire family outside J&K for a tour."
Gowhar, they said, was fond of wearing good clothes. "We used to call him GD. He has also a Facebook account by the name of GD Gowhar," one of his friends said.
Gowhar's father Nazir Ahmed Dar is in a shock. He is lost in the memories of his son. Dar, his relatives said, had recently paid Rs 30000 as last semester fee to his son who studied at Sir Syed Memorial College (SSM).
A teacher at the SSM said Gowhar was a student of Computer Science department. "He was a very bright and talented student. He would give a lot of respect to his teachers," he said. "We lost a very intelligent student. He would always be attentive during his classes and often go deeper into things."
On his Facebook wall, he has mentioned his date of birth as February 8, 1993. He had updated his FB page on August 9 by posting the date of death anniversary of Fida Nabi, a youth from his area who was killed during the summer agitation of 2010.