After siblings in Sopore, father-son duo gunned down in Handwara
Mirwaiz, Mehbooba condemn what they ignored for 20 years
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
Informed sources in north
Kashmir told Early Times that late last evening three persons armed with AK-47 rifles barged into the house of a school-teacher, Manzoor Ahmed Mir, at Bon Watsar in Zachaldara area of Handwara. According to Manzoor’s mother, the strangers identified themselves as ‘mujahideen’ and insisted that they would take dinner and stay there for a night. After taking the dinner, the intruders asked about Manzoor and his father, Ghulam Rasool Mir. The middle-aged woman told them that the teacher was making some preparations as he was scheduled to take students and fellow teachers on a picnic on Saturday.
Thereafter, the gunmen directed the woman to get her son and husband for an interaction with the “guests”. Orders were obeyed accordingly. The gunmen directed all the inmates to lie on the floor. As soon as they did, the gunmen showered bullets from their AK-47 rifles on the 27-year-old teacher and his father. Both died on spot. After the gunmen vanished into darkness, inmates and neighbours raised commotion. Later, Police and security forces also reached the spot but there was immediately no clue available with regard to whereabouts or identity of the assassins.
Still unmarried, Manzoor had been recently regularized in government service as a teacher after working as Rehbar-e-Taleem for over four years. With three younger brothers, he was the only bread earner in the family.
Since the carnage was widely being viewed as handiwork of militants, nobody staged a protest as happens in strife-torn Valley in the wake of selective killings. Whenever Police, soldiers or counter-insurgents are perceived to be behind a slaying, politicians of all hues indulge in competitive protest. On the other hand, condemnation of killings, perceived to be done by separatist militants, continues to be a taboo, though, of late, breaking in certain sections of politics and media.
Even as most of the mainstream and separatists politicians were as usual tightlipped over the twin killings in Handwara, one each from the two camps, namely PDP President Mehbooba Mufti and Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, issued statements in condemnation of today’s brutality.
Over a dozen civilians have been similarly shot dead by suspected militants in
Kashmir valley in the last five months of current year. Suspected militants had kidnapped two young daughters of a poor ration depot labourer, Ghulam Nabi Dar, namely Kulsooma and Aarifa, on January 30th night and shot them dead in Muslim Pir locality of apple-town Sopore, in North Kashmir. Signifying a change, most of the Valley’s politicians had severely condemned the twin murder. It was first time that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah took the separatists and pseudo-separatists head-on and questioned their ignoring the brutal assassination on Twitter. In a rare development, even the hardliner separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani later paid a visit to the bereaved family.
Pattan tense as people seize Army vehicle
Early Times Report
BARAMULLA, May 28: Dozens of youth this evening clashed with Police and seized an Army vehicle after two persons sustained injuries in a road accident at Pattan, on Srinagar-Baramulla-Muzaffarabad highway.
Reports said that an Army vehicle coming from Baramulla to
collided with a Tata-407 between Pattan and Babateng. Two persons, including driver of the minibus sustained injuries and the vehicle suffered extensive damage. Srinagar
Within minutes, over a hundred people converged on the highway and blocked the traffic. They alleged that even after hitting the civilian bus, troops came down and thrashed the commuters. The youngsters began shouting Islamic slogans. They even attempted to set the Army vehicle on fire.
Minutes later, when another Army Geep was driving in the direction of Police Station Pattan, people swooped on it and forced the soldiers to abandon it. Eyewitnesses said that over a dozen youth boarded the seized vehicle and drove it away on the highway. They said that troops demonstrated unprecedented restraint and they did not open fire. They approached Police for recovery of the Army vehicle which subsequently pacified the youth with the intervention of senior citizens.
Police sources said that the vehicle was recovered and handed over to Army. The vehicle involved in the accident was seized by Police. Reports described the highway township as tense but officials insisted that the trouble was over. A senior Police official said that two of the Police vehicles were damaged in the stone pelting by the mob.