Little Nouman tries to wake up slain father

Amid wails echoing from every side in this locality in Kherw area of south Kashmir’s Pampore township, 15-month-old Nouman on Thursday became the center of attraction for hundreds of mourners.

Amid wails echoing from every side in this locality in Kherw area of south Kashmir's Pampore township, 15-month-old Nouman on Thursday became the center of attraction for hundreds of mourners. With women beating their chests, and men flooding the residence of slain lecturer Shabir Ahmed Mungoo, the little Nouman—the lone son of Shabir—was trying hard to wake up his dead father.

"Papa, Papa, utho, utho (Papa, wake up)," the kid shouted loudly as the body of his father was surrounded by the mourners. Thousands had gathered at the residence of slain Shabir to participate in his funeral prayers.

"Papa will bring me chocolates. He told me; he will get two chocolates for me. Why isn't he waking up," Nouman said, and the shrieks and wails grew louder and louder.

Shabir's father, Wali Muhammad Mungoo, said his son was killed in "cold-blood". "Who will take care of this child now? Nouman was born after four years of Shabir's marriage. It was after lot of prayers and charity that he was born," said Mungoo, a labourer. He said Nouman didn't sleep since his father was dragged by Army men late on Wednesday night. "He kept on asking about his father and I was speechless. It was a collective decision of our family members to let Nouman sit beside the body of his father today, for one last time," said Mungoo, as tears rolled down his face.

"I can never forget his last glimpse; that image will continue to haunt me till I am alive. The biggest tragedy for a father is when he shoulders the coffin of his son. Today, Army broke my backbone," said Mungoo.  "The Army snatched the shining star of my family. My lecturer son is no more. God will punish the killers of my son."

Shabir has two brothers and both were injured in the Army action.

Shabir's wife also sustained injuries while trying to save her husband from the clutches of the allegedly frenzied soldiers of Army's 50 RR.

Shabir was the main bread-winner for his family. His younger brother is a Sumo driver and the youngest, a labourer. "I don't keep good health and Shabir was the only hope for me. It's because of his efforts that we managed to construct this small house," said the slain youth's father.

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