Harrowing pictures from Kashmir in the ‘bloody’ 2018
Khan Khawar Achakzai
“Where can I write my latest account of the body’s incarnation? It’s the end of what was bound to end! Where is that which ends? Where can I free myself of the homeland in my body?”, Mahmud Darvish.
The year 2018 has been one of the bloodiest in Kashmir’s history. There have been scores of civilian killings, unprecedented duress on the protestors and hundreds of ‘political’ incarcerations. The unbridled and unlawful execution of force by the state has manifested itself into one of the worst human rights crises in the world.
Below are 10 pictures from 2018, which shall haunt humanity for generations to come.
Kaisar Ahmad, one of the three young men who was run over by a CRPF armoured vehicle in Nowhatta while the protests were going on. Ahmad was a resident of Namchabal Fateh Kadal. There were three civilians who were run over, an action which drew stark castigation from various human rights organisations as a ‘horrible way to quell a protest’. Ahmad came from a very poor background, he was an orphan who lived with his two sisters and Aunt.
“Abdul Gaffar Malik’s first son is in the police, the second a volunteer in the Territorial Army, the third again in the police and the fourth in the grave,” reported KashmirLife. Khalid was the sixth civilian in the Valley to die in firing by the armed forces in 5 consecutive days, devastating a family that used to fear it might be harmed by militants for serving in the security forces. The fact that all his siblings were in the ‘security’ forces couldn’t save him from the unfortunate fate he met.
Scores of people, including women and children were wounded after paramilitary forces reportedly fired teargas shells and pellets inside the historic Jamia Mosque in the old city during clashes during Ramadhan.The force’s action, according to eyewitnesses left nearly 100 persons, including women and children wounded. The floor of the Masjid was carpeted with blood which was washed and the blood seeped into the ablution fountain, which retained the bloody tinge for several days.
Three rebels were killed in an encounter with the Indian forces in the Karoo village of district Budgam. The civilians watching the encounter rushed towards the site as soon as the forces left the area. Many of them climbed up the rubble of the house. Then, suddenly, an unexploded shell went off and injured more than 20 civilians, killing 7. The above picture shows the blood-drenched clothes of one of the injured at SMHS hospital.
Mehjabeen, without any tears in her expressionless eyes, mourns the death of her fiancee Sharjeel Ahmad. Sharjeel, a civilian, was shot at and killed by government forces near the encounter site in Khudwani area of Kulgam district. They were getting married in less than a fortnight but the ‘bride to be’ had to bid off a goodbye to the lifeless body of her groom.
Umar Kumar, a ninth class student was killed during clashes with government forces near the encounter site at Turkewangam village of Shopian district. The emotions went high and people were seen wailing and beating their chest as the parents of Umar laid the School uniform shirt of Umar over his body. When Umar was taken for the burial, his batchmates showered toffees on his dead body.
In broad daylight on Saturday, 8 September, unknown gunmen shot Hakeem-ur-Rehman, a Hurriyat activist. In 2009, Hakeem-ur-Rehman, a small-time cloth trader, spearheaded a mass agitation against the army in north Kashmir’s Bomai. In the above picture the daughter of the slain activist, Rehman, hugs the dead body of her father lying upon his deathbed.
The friend of 26-year-old Saleem Malik, an animal lover, and maker of school bags cries out in grief and agony, during his funeral while it was fired at with tear gas shells. Saleem was a civilian and was shot dead in the government forces action during a cordon & search operation in Noorbagh, Srinagar. There were massive protests after his death.
Children of Aijaz Ahmad watch over their dead father, confused, while people try to console his old father. Aijaz Ahmad Bhat was a civilian who was killed By Indian Army near his Home in Nowpora area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam, some 60 kilometers from Srinagar Capital.
The writer is a published author, a doctor and a social activist and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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