Decade on, justice eludes family of slain Munwarabad youth

Greater Kashmir

An eerie silence haunts visitors to the house of crippled youth Inayatullah Bhat of Munwarabad here who fell to bullets of paramilitary CRPF on this day a decade ago.

Amid prayers for peace to his soul, his family huddled in a room remembers their beloved with moist eyes. Gazing at Inayat’s guitar and harmonium, they resolve to continue their struggle to bring his killers to book.  

“This house used to reverberate with musical compositions of my son. I yearn to see his musical performance, but then I realize he will never return,” said Inayat’s mother Hajira Bano as tears welled in her eyes.

A graduate turned musician, Inayat had suffered multiple fractures on his hip bone when he fell from third storey of his house in 2003— three years before his killing. He was operated upon many times and remained bedridden for nearly two years. 

“On June 30, 2006, Inayat was killed by paramilitary CRPF near his bakery shop after he demanded money for the bread,” said Inayat’s father Rehmatullah Bhat.

“The CRPF claimed that Inayat ran towards their camp and admitted that they fired upon him. We have medical records to prove that Inayat was crippled and could hardly walk properly without support,” he said.  

Pertinently, Inayat’s killing had triggered violent demonstrations and clashes in Srinagar for many days. Police had registered a case (FIR No. 56/2006 under section 307) which was changed to Section 302 after Inayat succumbed to his injuries in a hospital. 

“Despite passing of 10 years, my son’s killers are yet to be punished,” Bhat said.  

After failing to get justice, Bhat had knocked the doors of State Human Rights Commission in 2006. In its reports to the Commission, he said police had admitted that Inayat was killed by a personnel belonging to CRPF camp stationed at a local hotel there.

“Due to public pressure, the accused troopers were detained for few days. Despite evidences against them, the accused were released but no criminal proceedings were initiated against them by virtue Armed Forces Special Powers Act” he said. 

“What kind of system is this? My son was not a militant or killed in any encounter or cross firing…he was a simple musician martyred in cold blood,” he said in an emotional tone.  

“On his martyrdom anniversary, we resolve to fight till our last breath to bring the accused troopers to justice,” he said. 

Inayat’s brother, Rais said action against the accused would have served as deterrent. 

“During 2008 and 2010 agitations, over 200 youth were killed by police and troopers. Government adopted silence over innocent killings in Kashmir. I appeal international human rights organization to take note of all innocent killings in Kashmir and impress upon Government to initiate criminal proceedings against the accused,” Rais added.