Slain Soura cop's daughter's last trip to tuition leaves her scarred for life

‘Mere papa jannat mein gaye honge na’
People and Media Persons stand near the site of the attack, where a cop was killed and his daughter injured in Srinagar's Soura on Tuesday.
People and Media Persons stand near the site of the attack, where a cop was killed and his daughter injured in Srinagar's Soura on Tuesday. Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar/New Delhi: The shell-shocked nine-year-old daughter of police constable Saifullah Qadri often breaks down as she remembers her father and is overcome with regret for asking him to accompany her for tuition classes on May 24, the day he was gunned down by terrorists.

A student of class 3, Syed Safa Qadiri's world came crashing down as she witnessed terrorists pumping bullets into her father.

With a bandaged hand, Safa, who also received gunshot wounds, is unable to come out of the nightmarish experience and is often seen gazing at the ceiling of her room with questions like "mere papa jannat mein gaye honge na (My father must have gone to heaven)", says her mother Rabia.

"She (Safa) often breaks down regretting why she insisted her father to accompany her for tuition classes on that fateful day," Rabia said.

Qadiri, a constable with the Jammu and Kashmir Police, was shot dead by terrorists outside his home in the Anchar area on the outskirts of Srinagar.

"I was in the kitchen when some neighbours brought Safa from outside with her clothes drenched in blood. We rushed her to a hospital where I saw my husband being rushed on another stretcher, pulling the rug from under my feet. Concerned with Safa's condition, I did not realise then that the target was my husband," Rabia said as she broke down in tears.

Asked about her arm, Safa bravely says in a choked voice, "I am times it pains a bit but I am the daughter of a brave policeman."

"All I know I have to fulfil my father's dream of me becoming an IPS officer," she adds. Since May 24, Safa has not gone to school.

Her mother is sill struggling to explain the whole episode to her children -- Safa and eight-year-old daughter Saddah.

"I used to tell them that their father has been taken to Delhi for treatment but I could not carry on with this lie as they understood with the stream of visitors coming to our house," said Rabia, who has a M.Sc degree.

Inspector General of Police (Kashmir range) Vijay Kumar said the police have identified the terrorist responsible for Qadiri's killing and will nab them soon.

The family was visited by Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha a few days after the incident. The administration is yet to offer any alternative avenue for earning to the family.

Rabia, picking up her life again after her husband's death, spoke about the difficulties: "I need a constant source of earning for my children. I am sure that the police department will definitely look into this."

Qadiri joined the police force as a Special Police Officer (SPO) in 2010 and was made permanent in 2014 after his superiors found him excelling in his duties.

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