BY MOHAMMAD SADEEQ WANI
Over the last few days, I have heard discussion on the news channels that a lady of Jammu has been saying a lot of things on Kashmir. Her name is Anuradha Bhasin, and she owns a newspaper called Kashmir Times.
She has written in a big American newspaper New York Times that media does not have freedom in Kashmir. She has also said that the Home Minister and the LG Saab have been lying about the situation in Kashmir.
Anuradha ji, you are not a Kashmiri. You live a luxurious life in the peaceful city of Jammu. Who are you to talk about the pain and suffering of being a Kashmiri?
For us Kashmiris, Jammu was the haven of peace. All Kashmiris would rush to Jammu during winter months to enjoy the freedom there, and to breathe in the free air. In Jammu, Kashmiris always found freedom from the terror and turmoil that we faced in the valley. You know nothing of how Kashmiris suffered the years of terror.
Anuradha ji, you know nothing of the pain of being a Kashmiri. You have one old relationship with Kashmir. Your father was one of the leaders of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).
He always supported that Kashmir should be separate from India and he always supported the separatists. Whether JKLF or any other name, they are all dahshat gard (terrorists). Their only aim is always to spread dahshat (terror).
Anuradha ji, you are crying and telling the world that Modi ji has finished all media freedom in Kashmir. Just because your father kept the name of your newspaper as Kashmir Times, do not think that you will act as the representative of the Kashmiris.
Let me tell you Anuradha ji. The only people who finished everything in Kashmir are the dahshat gard.
Anuradha ji, you are a journalist and you claim that you speak the truth. Did you ever write that the dahshat gard finished the freedom of the Kashmiri people? Did you ever write that the dahshat gard finished our human rights? Did you ever write that the dahshat gard finished our happiness and our life?
I feel extremely sad to note that your father represented the first group of dahshat gards in Kashmir. Because of the support of people like your father, all groups of dahshat gards and the groups of separatists and the Hurriyat became strong. All of you became strong and rich, and you finished the life of poor and helpless people like us.
Why Anuradha ji? What harm did we ever do to you that you supported the separatists and all Pakistani stooges who finished us?
Tell me one simple truth Anuradha ji. Did you suffer because of these dahshat gard? No. I pray to the Almighty that neither you nor anyone else should suffer the way we did.
You have many government allotments in Jammu and also in Kashmir. You have your own personal properties in Jammu and Kashmir. But perhaps you will cry to know what all poor people like me suffered.
We are a simple family living in Lankression Village in Kupwara district. My three young sons were killed by the terrorists. Two were married, one was not married. Only I know how I brought up my grandchildren who were too small to understand that their father had been killed.
How terrorists killed my three sons
The year was 1998. My eldest son was Bashir Ahmad. He was a school teacher. He was a famous sportsperson of our area Ramhall. He was very popular because he had a charming and loving personality. My second son Abdul Ahad was a Class 4 employee in the Irrigation Department.
One evening, the terrorists of Hizbul Mujahideen entered our house at about 8 pm. They searched the house inquiring about me. I was a simple farmer, but many years ago I had been associated with the National Conference. Now I was engaged in routine work and used to devote my time to the family.
Only my son Bashir Ahmad and my daughters in law were home at that time with the children. They panicked when the terrorists asked for me. My daughters in law rushed me upstairs and hid me. The terrorists forced my eldest son to hand me over. They said they needed to talk to me.
The terrorist who was threatening my eldest son was the local commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, Mushtaq Ahmad Peer. He was a resident of Punjwa and was heading this death squad group.
My Son Begged The Terrorist Commander, But He Felt No Mercy
My son came to know that Mushtaq Peer wanted to kill me. He fell at the feet of Mushtaq Peer, saying – please forgive us for any mistakes you think we have committed. But don’t kill my father.
During this conversation of 35 minutes, my son cried for my life and begged him again and again. But Mushtaq Peer did not listen to him. He kept asking only for me.
During this time, Mushtaq Peer came to know that my son Bashir Ahmad had identified him. He thought that my son would inform the police that he had come to their house with the intention to kill. He asked Bashir to stand up and move two steps back. He told my son to stand straight against the wall.
My Two Sons Were Killed Within Minutes
In the next two minutes, Mushtaq Peer fired 12 rounds of bullets on my eldest son and killed him. My daughters in law were shrieking and wailing, but the terrorists did not feel any mercy.
They were still shrieking with terror when there were more gunshots outside our house, in the courtyard. My second son Abdul Ahad Wani had been killed by the same group.
Abdul Ahad was coming back from the mosque after evening prayers. He was stopped by the terrorists at the gate. The terrorists called their commander inside on the radio set. They asked him what to do with Abdul Ahad.
The commander told them, kill this munafiq. I have killed Bashir. And they killed Abdul Ahad also.
My two sons were killed this way within minutes of each other. Now security forces used to keep patrolling the area.
My Youngest Son Was Saved Because He Was On Duty
My youngest son Nazir Ahmad was almost on the death bed, crying day and night remembering his two killed brothers. He was a very active man and used to work very hard. On the day when Bashir and Abdul Ahad were killed, he was not at home. Otherwise he also would have been killed.
He was on duty at that time and did not come back at night.
But the terrorists thought that now their identity has been disclosed. They thought that Bashir Ahmad and Abdul Ahad have been killed by Mushtaq Peer, so the third son Nazir Ahmad can create trouble for them if he remains alive.
Because of this, terrorists planned to Nazir Ahmad also. The terrorists started working on the plan to kill him.
There was a taxi driver in our area named Manzoor. My son Nazir always used his taxi when he had to go anywhere. Mushtaq Peer involved the taxi driver in the plan to kill Nazir Ahmad.
Terrorists Killed My Third Son In Cold Blood
One day at about 4 pm, Nazir Ahmad came home. He always used to take Noon Chaye (namkeen tea) after he returned home. He had just finished his tea when the taxi driver Manzoor came to our house. He said something to my son.
My son told us that he was going to have dinner at the residence of a friend. He wore a new Qameez shilvaar and waskat (waistcoat). He put the clothes on and left with Manzoor in his taxi.
The next morning we came to know that Nazir Ahmad had been killed by terrorists at village Dolipora, which is at a distance of about four kilometers from our village. Then we got to know that taking Nazir Ahmad to Dolipora was a trap laid by the terrorists. Manzoor had been instructed to bring Nazir Ahmad to the residence of Ahad Sheikh at Dolipora to have dinner there.
My Youngest Son Was Killed While Having Food
When Nazir Ahmad reached there, he was served dinner. But he did not know that terrorists were already waiting in the other room, ready to kill him. When he started eating dinner, suddenly two terrorists entered the room where he was having food and started firing at him. He was killed on the spot.
This way all three of my sons were killed by the terrorists. Then the terrorists started offering justification for the killings. We were named as mukhbirs. We were named as a family which was anti-Pakistan and anti-azadi.
My wife cried so much after this horrifying loss of her three sons that she went mad. My health also became very frail.
My Grand-Children Cried That They Didn’t Want To Go To School
Even Teachers Used To Call Them Ugly Names
My grand-children cried that they did not want to go to school. The teachers were radicalized. Even they used to taunt my grand-children and call them ugly names.
We lost everything in society. We lost our sons. We were looked upon as lowly and small people. We were regarded as anti-Islam people. Why, Anuradha ji? What harm did we do?
But we had no human rights or any other rights. Terrorists were the only people who had any rights. They could come and kill anybody they wanted. They could kill three brothers because they wanted to do so.
No one in the media came forward to cry at that time that the terrorists had snatched our human rights. Everybody knew of our devastating loss. But no one in the media came forward to even condemn the terrorists. Modi ji had not taken away your media freedom. Then why didn’t you exercise your freedom and cry for our devastation?
We had no help, nobody to lend a shoulder in our hardship. We did not have money to raise the grand-children. I could not answer their questions when they asked about their father.
The man who killed my sons has four children. All his children got government jobs.
We suffered for years and years at the hands of the terrorists and also at the hands of society. Now after the abrogation of Article 370, we feel that the UT Administration is finally taking the right steps for Kashmir. We are experiencing freedom from terror for the first time.
Even now you have the freedom to write the stories of people like me. You have the freedom to write how we the people of Kashmir are experiencing freedom from the terrorists for the first time.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.