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Wailing fathers ask ‘why our innocent sons were killed?’

A straight metalled road towards the west of troubled Pulwama town leads to the picturesque village of Aveen Gund. A few doors down the street stands the newly constructed single-storied house of Muhammad Rajab Naikoo.  A plastic banner carrying the picture of Naikoo’s slain son hangs from the porch with people, particularly from the adjoining villages, trickling into the house.  Above the porch, a loudspeaker intermittently blares out the songs of resistance written by local bards.  A straight metalled road towards the west of troubled Pulwama town leads to the picturesque village of Aveen Gund. A few doors down the street stands the newly constructed single-storied house of Muhammad Rajab Naikoo.

A plastic banner carrying the picture of Naikoo’s slain son hangs from the porch with people, particularly from the adjoining villages, trickling into the house.  Above the porch, a loudspeaker intermittently blares out the songs of resistance written by local bards.  He fell on the soft ground covered with blades of grass and blood started oozing out of his body from multiple wounds,” he added.

An ambulance was called in after some youth made frantic calls to district hospital Shopian but the government forces, according to Zubair, did not allow the ambulance to ferry Ahmad to hospital.  As people began to protest flocking the blood drenched body of Ahmad, with alacrity the forces raised their guns and fired a plethora of gunshots to scare away the people, he said.  Amid the rat-tat of guns, some youth, first on a motorbike and then in a private car, rushed Ahmad to district hospital Shopian where the doctors declared him dead on arrival.

After  the first round of his funeral at Shopian, slain Ahmad was brought to his native village and was interred in the local Shaeed Mazar (martyr’s graveyard) with a sea of people turning up to participate in his last rites.

Naikoo, who still fails to figure out why his son was killed, was told by a fellow villager, on the fateful day that his son had suffered some minor injuries and was admitted in a hospital in Shopian.

“When I reached Shopian I saw people were standing in rows offering his funeral,” said Naikoo.

Among the three sons of Naikoo, Ahmad  was the youngest one.  As Naikoo’s wife Mehbooba is unwell for past several years owing to multiple ailments, Ahmad would help her manage the family chores. “He used to help me in doing the dishes. He would even milk the cows,” said Mehbooba while signing an elegy in a rather feeble voice. Naikoo while trying to console her still asks why his son was killed.

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