Qaiser Amin Bhat, who was killed on Friday after a vehicle ferrying paramilitary troopers ran over him during a protest, was set to leave for UAE where a hotel chain had offered him a job.
Qaiser’s was waiting for visa which, his relatives said, was only a week away.
Qaiser was 11 when he lost his mother to diabetes and his father, a shawl seller, to heart attack within a span of three months in 2008. Qaiser and his two sisters were left to the care of grandfather who passed away a year later.
The siblings were adopted by their father’s sister and her husband Ghulam Muhammad Najar, a resident of Buchwara, Dalgate.
“Qaiser, Iffat and Toiba called my wife as mouj (mother). Their addressing her as mother always made me emotional,” said Najar.
He said Qaiser completed his 12 class exam a few years ago and decided not to study further. Sisters Toiba and Iffat are in class 12 and 11 respectively.
While Najar brought up the siblings as his own children, Qaiser never lost the touch with his paternal home at Fateh Kadal.
“He was a practicing Muslim and was fasting when the CRPF vehicle crushed him yesterday,” Najar said.
“Before leaving he asked his aunt to accompany him but with a rider that she would have to stay with him till Asr prayers. My wife refused saying what would she do in the masjid till Asr. Qaiser left then,” he said.
Najar says Qaiser was a staunch supporter of azadi (freedom) but never participated in stone pelting protests.
Zahid Ahmed, Qaiser’s cousin, said, “Had he been a stone pelter he would never have been given a passport. You know how difficult it is to get the passport in a place like Kashmir.”
“My brother was too young to die. He was so smart,” Zahid said, eyes welling up.
Nearby, mourners were seen discussing “what would happen to the two sisters”.
An elderly man replied: “They are the sisters of a martyr and Allah will take care of them now.” The sisters, nearly unconscious with grief, were being consoled by women who themselves couldn’t stop crying.
A CRPF vehicle ferrying an officer ploughed into a group of protesters at Nowhatta after Friday prayers, injuring two, including Qaiser who succumbed at SKIMS in the night. Pictures showing him crying for help after being run over by the vehicle went viral on Friday.
A Kashmiri man shouts for help as an Indian paramilitary vehicle runs over him during a protest in Jamia Masjid, Srinagar, June 1, 2018. Three people were injured, one of them seriously, after they were hit and run over by the vehicle. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin) #kashmir pic.twitter.com/VLDHCgheAC
— Ahmer Khan (@ahmermkhan) June 1, 2018