On 6th November 2020, Friday following Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi (SAW) was being observed. Thousands of devotees were converging at Dargah Hazratbal. J&K Police was working tirelessly to facilitate devotees; from traffic management to crowd control. It was the first large scale mass gathering in Srinagar City post COVID lockdown. People were following social distancing and other preventive measures. While the holy relic was being shown, a sea of humanity was seeking forgiveness, and praying for normal life to return as COVID pandemic set unprecedented challenges in front of humankind.
Less than a mile away from this historic spritual centre of Kashmir, at a poverty stricken neighborhood of Sultan Mohalla, near Saida Kadal, humanity was facing another challenge. In fact a horrible one. Just a day before her marriage a barbaric act of killing the bride, by her brother and close relatives, was being carried out; this, to satisfy greed, and grab materialistic assets. We haven’t heard of such crimes in our society. The question which we have to ask ourselves is; have we now woken up to the reality that our social fabric is falling to pieces, and that too fast.
On 13 November, after being approached by the would be husband of the deceased victim, the honorable Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar directed the police to investigate this suspicious death. Consequent to this the proceedings of 174 Criminal Procedure Act were started by the police. On our first visit to the scene of crime we got clues that death may be homicidal in nature. As this shocking incident shook the collective conscience of the society, responding to public faith District Police Chief Dr Haseeb Mughal directed SP Hazratbal to constitute a Special Investigation Team ( SIT) . I was assigned the duty to head the SIT. The entire team worked professionally to crack this blind murder case in a record time. The investigation is still going on and law will take its own course. The details of this barbaric act compelled me to write this piece in this newspaper. It is a clarion call for us all to look into the rot that has set into our society.
For centuries Kashmir is known to the world as Pir Vaer and Reshi Vaer – an abode of saintly souls. Our collective cultural identity is all about humanity, harmony, tolerance, and family values. These grand human values are mixed into our matrix. On the magisterial orders when we carried out exhumation of the dead body at the graveyard adjacent to historic Imambara Hassanabad, a pall of gloom fell all over. The historic Imambara Hassanabad where every year mourners converge to commemorate the supreme sacrifices offered by the martyrs of Karbala was bearing testimony to a barbaric where a person was killed by her own brother, and close family members while she was offering early morning prayers.
As a society we must introspect and do some soul searching . We all are stake holders and we all have to act. Otherwise such heinous crimes can ruin our moral and ethical fabric. God forbid we start taking such things as a normal; that is the worst that can happen to our society.
Musadiq Basu is 2011 batch KPS Officer presently serving as SDPO Zakura/Nigeen