Saturday, June 22, 2024

Family of slain Kashmiri cop alleges army men shot him

Ghulam Mohammad Dar is survived by seven daughters and a wife. Photo: Special arrangement

On October 31, Uzma Gul, 20, was cleaning her house when she heard some gunshots. After speeding up apprehensively, she found her father, Ghulam Mohammad Dar, lying in a pool of blood.

Moments after Dar was shot just outside his home, Kashmir police took to X (formerly Twitter) saying that the militants shot him. They further said that the area was cordoned off to arrest the assailants.

The attack took place at Wailoo village in Tangmarg area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

However, the family members and the relatives of the slain who spoke to Maktoob refuted their claims saying that he was not killed by the militants, but was killed by the army from the point-blank range.

Uzma said that the moment our dad was shot dead, an army vehicle was passing by and the bullets were fired from that vehicle. “Militants didn’t kill my father. I can vouch for that. He was killed by the army men passing by in that vehicle,” she accused.

She accuses the army of killing their father.

“Normally army men don’t run away after hearing the bullet sounds when they are in bulletproof vehicles. But, they didn’t stop, instead accelerated the vehicles and ran away in seconds,” she alleged.

She assumed that when Dar was hit with a bullet he immediately drove his bike into a paddy field to take refuge under the sloped ground but the assailant shot him again in his ribs, and then to his heart as well.

Dar, a policeman had been serving the police department for the last twenty-five years. Dar was locally called Gul Soob and known as a good-humoured and amiable person. He was a religious man who would often lead Friday prayers in his village and other places.

“He was muttering a slow, meaningless string of words in an unrecognizable tone,” his distraught wife, Masooda told Maktob.

Dar is survived by seven daughters and wife who all live in a separately under-construction double-storey house along the roadside.

Director General of Police, J&K, RR Swain told media that police have got leads regarding the killing of Dar.

He said that the assailants and their aids who were involved in his killing would be dealt with strictly. 

Maktoob requested the police and army for comments on the allegations. Multiple requests for comments from ADGP J&K Vijay Kumar went unanswered.

Inside the lawn of a double-story house going under construction, Dar’s family is joined by hundreds of mourners, men, women, children, and police personnel in khaki.

Drenched in blood

Dar, according to his family, was hit with several bullets in his left thigh, ribs, arm and one had pierced through his heart, and blood was oozing out profusely.

Dar was boarded in a vehicle and taken to Sub District Hospital Tangmarag, but he breathed his last before reaching the hospital.

“His loss is irreparable. Whosoever has killed him has committed a wrongdoing,” said Mohammad Yousuf Dar, younger brother and an eyewitness who was accompanying him to the hospital.

“I seek justice for my brother. His family has been rendered hopeless and helpless at the mercy of God. I appeal to the government to have a thorough investigation in this matter and bring assailants to justice.”

Among the hundreds of jam-packed mourners inside the canopy, a woman in her fifties is wailing and sobbing for her ‘unbearable losses’. “Ye aes temis zyade khanemoej (she was his dearest darling),” she cries while holding her younger daughter – Sumaira Gul, 6 with her chest.

His elder daughter, Ulfat recalled, “Bare feet, we ran outside near the main gate – some 30 meters away where I found him fallen on the ground drenched in blood,” she said.

Lagya myane abu jiya waiii, gash ha wandai myane abu jiya waiii…… (Which roughly translates as; May I be sacrificed on you oh Abu Ji, may my eyesight be sacrificed on you oh Abu Ji).”

Ulfat was getting married soon and Dar was busy with home renovation work lately.

“Dar was a policeman. If he won’t get justice baqyan kus dooth paye”? Aysha Begum, a relative of Dar said while speaking to Maktob.

“What was his crime? He has performed his duty in every district for years now and there has been no complaint against him to date. Then what was the point of killing him”? Begum questioned.

She said that if they didn’t spare him despite being a police cop, what would they be doing with a layman?

“Aase deyu insaf, aase deyu insaf, aase deyu insaf (give us justice, give us justice, give us justice),” she shouts repeatedly.

“We are shattered. I had no son except seven daughters,” lamented Dar’s wife, Masooda Begum whose eyes had dried up completely. “He was our only hope and only caretaker”. 

Rise in target attacks

A day before Dar was shot dead, Inspector Masroor Ahmad, another member of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, was shot in Eidgah Srinagar. While playing cricket, militants approached him and shot him at point-blank range with a pistol.

He is battling for survival in a tertiary hospital in Kashmir.

Besides, a non-local labourer, Mukesh Kumar was shot dead by suspected militants in a village in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. His killing has been the first of its kind killing of a non-local in the 2023 year so far.

Earlier in 2022, several targeted killings were carried on by the militants in the valley claiming dozens of lives.

“The enemy wants to create violence here in the valley. We have lost so many people in the mad era of violence. The incidents that have occurred today and yesterday have to be seen from the same prism as they are failing, and they cannot see peace returning to the valley.” Dilbagh Singh, the former Director General of Police for Jammu and Kashmir said.

“These incidents are only and only that they don’t want peace to prevail here. We are working hard to stop all kinds of violence in the valley completely. We have already managed to find out some major proof about yesterday’s attack. If a poor labourer is killed, I don’t think either God or police will forgive the perpetrators of this attack.”

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