Mr. Governor, I want to tell you the tale of a family in my neighbouring hamlet

By the way your good self needs to be reminded that most of the times encounters break when security forces lay siege of civilian population.

Mr. Satpal Malik Ji


Your contradictory statements is a reflection of New Delhi’s failures in Kashmir. From talking about eliminating militancy not militants to speaking about engaging youth between age group of 13 to 20 years, and now threatening that militants would not receive bouquets against bullets, all what one can conclude is confusion in the mind. By the way your good self needs to be reminded that most of the times encounters break when security forces lay siege of civilian population. Anyway I want to tell you the tale of a family in my nearby hamlet and leave it to your conscience to decide who is the oppressor. It was 1991 a young man Mohammad Akbar Zargar of Shirhama, residing just a kilometer from my village, like thousands of Kashmiris crossed LoC and returned with an AK-47, becaming a hardcore militant. The inter rivalry between various militant groups compelled him to become a counterinsurgent. His brother Gh. Mohi-ud-Din Zaragar, who was running a bakery shop at Kralgund, too got involved with his brother. It was April 1995 when both the brothers were shot dead by militants. Mohammad Akbar had settled in Kralgund village and was buried there, while body of Gh. Mohi-ud-Din Zargar was brought to his native village. There were no mournings, no protests and no symbolic funerals, because for the masses they were agents of forces and thus renegades.

Just three to four close relatives of Gh. Mohi-ud-Din Zargar performed the last rites. He was left behind with 5 year old son Aashiq and three daughters. Few months later the ill fated wife of Gh. Mohi-ud-Din married to Mohammad Sultan Gojree residing in a nearby village Tulwari. Ashiq grew up, passed his matriculation exam, but could not continue his studies further, as he had no one to look after his helpless sisters. He was brilliant, tough but with a smiling face always, and chose to become a driver. He voted for me in 2008 and in 2014 and would hardly miss any of our programs. In July 2018 Ashiq along with his few colleagues approached me with a file in his hands and sought help to get his compassionate appointment case settled at DC Office Kupwara.

Whatsoever little I and my colleagues would do to help the family, we often took it as our fundamental duty to rehabilitate and take care of the family. He would always discuss community issues with me and insist for redressal. In 2016 mass uprising, like other youth of the area he too would join processions and had a couple of FIRs registered against him at PS Langate.

The concerned SHO would on and of call him to the police station, humiliate and abuse him. He used to visit frequently his step father’s house to see his mother. Often I would intervene, get him back from police station, but next time they would again harass him and hurl abuses at me too in my absentia to demoralize Ashiq and others like him. Just three months back, in August, police party raided his step father’s residence at Tulwari and asked him to present Ashiq to police station.

Mohammad Sultan, his step father, did all his best to persuade police that he cannot compel him to come to police station again and again as Ashiq has faced torture and humiliation without a reason at said police station frequently. But the arrogant cops dragged him and he was hit on his face and eye mercilessly. The ill fated step father was dragged to police station and was released after two days with a swollen face. This incident shocked not only him but all of us.

Few days later Aashiq gave me a call that he is now driving a tipper in Baramullah area to avoid harassment at the hands of police. I still remember how ruthlessly on 8thof February this year, he, along with me and dozens others, was dragged while protesting outside SP Office Handwara against slapping PSA on three youth hailing from Langate.

On 11th October I woke up and came to know that an encounter has started at Shartgund village some 2 Kms away from my hamlet. Around 03:00 PM it was official that top Hizb commander Manan Wani was killed in the encounter along with his colleague, and shockingly the colleague was Ashiq Zargar, who had joined militant ranks without asking anyone or making his photos viral on social media. It was shocking and unbelievable, but true.

Thousands took to streets and huge crowds joined funeral. Mr. Governor, can you find reasons why Ashiq joined militant ranks, despite his father getting killed for being a pro-Indian. What forced Ashiq to join killers of his father and uncle and why he found dignity in getting killed as a militant. Why just four persons, yes, I mean only four persons, joined funeral of the ‘patriotic’ father and thousands and thousands gave a bidding farewell to the ‘traitor’ son. If you could introspect and explain entire tragedy of Ashiq and his family, you may find easy to understand tale of others and we can believe that you mean eliminating militancy not militants.

Otherwise we have every reason to claim without any fear or exaggeration that killing Kashmiris has become fruitful industry for a section of men in uniform.

Waiting for your response.

Er. Rasheed