Two families lost breadwinners to Indian state terrorism in Sopore

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Srinagar, June 18 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, two families of Sopore lost their breadwinners to the Indian state terrorism.

Indian police resorted to firing in a vindictive action after two of their personnel were killed and three others injured in an attack by unknown persons in Aarampora in Sopore town on Saturday, killing three civilians including Manzoor Ahmed Shalla and Bashir Ahmad Pahloo.

‘It has been few days since I lost my husband. My world has collapsed, like my soul has been ripped apart. I can’t even console my son and tell him where his father has gone to. It is becoming more appalling by the day. Now, it’s just the memories of us that I have,” said Aasiya Manzoor.

Till noon on Saturday, June 12, life was full of joy for 28-year-old Aasiya and her husband, Manzoor Ahmad Shalla. He was killed in Sopore. The volatile conflict, destroying their lives, turned Aasiya into a widow and Hamad, their 2-year-old kid into an orphan.

As per South Asian Wire report, Manzoor Ahmad was working as a salesman in a shop run by his cousin, Riyaz Ahmad. He was whisked away in a police jeep from his kiryana shop on the charges of violating the Covid-19 lockdown protocol.

‘I don’t know the actual reality. Who killed my brother? The authorities should clarify how and in what circumstance my brother was killed. First they should answer why he was taken away even after conceding to remit fine and beg for the release,” said Firdous Ahmad, younger brother of Manzoor.

Almost 2km away from Manzoor’s house family of another martyred civilian, Bashir Ahmad Pahloo, a cart vendor, is mourning for the sole breadwinner.

Inside the room, mourners were reticent, disturbingly silent. Tent pitched in the lawn on the bank of River Jhelum was a packed house of mourners, mostly women; Manzoor Ahmed Laway is unable to come to the terms with the loss of the friend and companion Pahloo. They had known each other for more than 15 years. Laway is so stricken with grief and sense of guilt fills inside him after the incident.

Lawey, a friend of Pahloo and co-owner of the handcart, said that on the day, the street was relatively calm and clear when Bashir went out for tea. He had barely walked a few meters when the firing started. ‘I started running with other people, the rest is history’, he said.

“We used to start and end our day in each other’s arms no matter the situation. It is extremely painful on several aspects. Conflict has stolen a companion of mine. Conflict really did steal a piece of everyone who knew Bashir. Few days before, we were making plans. And now he is in his grave, this is the worst nightmare,” said Manzoor Ahmad Laway.

On the opposite side, Junaid, the only son of Bashir, is listening to this conversation with a distraught face. The death of his father has shaken Junaid. The emptiness created by father’s death, the sadness mingled with resentments has traumatized Junaid.

“My father was an attentive role model. He was more a mother than a father to me. My mother died a few years back, but my father made sure that her absence did not cross my mind. I am alone. I wake up in the morning with a searing pain,” said Junaid, while attending to the mourners. “It is in me the whole day. I can barely talk to anybody.”

Junaid said the family, including Junaid’s grandmother has been devastated and is still trying to make sense of why his father was taken away. “We are crushed. That day, it was hard. It’s something that a son shouldn’t go through. This home will never be the same without him.”

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Disclaimer: Two families lost breadwinners to Indian state terrorism in Sopore - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

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