Over the last few days, I have heard discussions on news channels that a lady from Jammu has been saying a lot of things about Kashmir. Her name is Anuradha Bhasin and she owns a newspaper called Kashmir Times. In The New York Times, she has written that the media does not have freedom in Kashmir. She has also said that Home Minister Amit Shah and the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, have been lying about the situation in Kashmir.
Anuradha ji, you are not a Kashmiri. You are a Dogri from Jammu. You live a luxurious life in the peaceful city of Jammu. Who are you to talk about the pain and suffering of being a Kashmiri? For us Kashmiris, Jammu was the haven of peace. All Kashmiris would rush to Jammu during winter months to enjoy the freedom there, and to breathe in the free air. In Jammu, Kashmiris always found freedom from the terror and turmoil that we faced in the Valley.
You know nothing of how Kashmiris suffered the years of terror.
You know nothing of the pain of being a Kashmiri. You have one old relationship with Kashmir. Your father was one of the leaders of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF). He always supported that Kashmir should be separate from India and he always supported the separatists. Whether JKLF or any other name, they are all dahshat-gard (terrorists). Their only aim is to spread dahshat (terror).
Anuradha ji, you are crying and telling the world that PM Modi has finished all media freedom in Kashmir. Just because your father kept the name of your newspaper as Kashmir Times, do not think that you will act as the representative of the Kashmiris. Let me tell you the only people who finished everything in Kashmir are the dahshat-gard.
You are a journalist and you claim that you speak the truth. Did you ever write that the terrorists finished the freedom of the Kashmiri people? Did you ever write that they finished our human rights? Did you ever write that they finished our happiness and our life?
I feel extremely sad to note that your father represented the first group of dahshat-gards in Kashmir. Because of the support of people like your father, all groups of dahshat-gards and the groups of separatists and the Hurriyat became strong. All of you became strong and rich, and you finished the life of poor and helpless people like us.
Why Anuradha ji? What harm did we ever do to you that you supported the separatists and all Pakistani stooges who finished us? Tell me one simple truth. Did you suffer because of these dahshat-gards? No. I pray to the Almighty that neither you nor anyone else should suffer the way we did.
You have many government allotments in Jammu and also in Kashmir. You have your own personal properties in J&K. But perhaps you will cry to know what all poor people like me suffered. We are a simple family living in Lankression village in the Kupwara district. My three young sons were killed by the terrorists. Two were married and one was unmarried. Only I know how I brought up my grandchildren who were too small to understand that their father had been killed.
How terrorists killed my sons
The year was 1998. My eldest son was Bashir Ahmad. He was a school teacher and a famous sportsperson of our area, Ramhall. He was very popular because he had a charming and loving personality. My second son Abdul Ahad was a class 4 employee in the Irrigation department.
One evening, the terrorists of Hizbul Mujahideen entered our house at about 8 pm. They searched the house inquiring about me. I was a simple farmer, but many years ago, I had been associated with the National Conference (NC). Now I was engaged in routine work and used to devote my time to the family.
Only my son Bashir Ahmad and my daughters-in-law were home at that time with the children. They panicked when the terrorists asked for me. My daughters-in-law took me upstairs to hide me. The terrorists forced my eldest son to hand me over. They said they needed to talk to me. The terrorist who was threatening my eldest son was the local commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, Mushtaq Ahmad Peer. He was a resident of Punjwa and was heading this death squad group.
My son begged the terrorist commander, but he felt no mercy.
My son came to know that Mushtaq Peer wanted to kill me. He fell at his feet, saying – please forgive us for any mistakes you think we have committed. But don’t kill my father.
During this conversation of 35 minutes, my son cried for my life and begged him again and again. But Mushtaq Peer did not listen to him. He kept asking only for me.
During this time, Mushtaq Peer came to know that my son Bashir Ahmad had identified him. He thought that my son would inform the police that he had come to their house with the intention to kill. He asked Bashir to stand up and move two steps back. He told my son to stand straight against the wall.
My two sons were killed within minutes
In the next two minutes, Mushtaq Peer fired 12 rounds of bullets at my eldest son and killed him. My daughters-in-law were shrieking and wailing, but the terrorists didn’t feel any mercy. They were still shrieking with terror when there were more gunshots outside our house, in the courtyard. My second son Abdul Ahad Wani had been killed by the same group.
Abdul Ahad was coming back from the mosque after evening prayers. He was stopped by the terrorists at the gate. The terrorists called their commander inside on the radio set. They asked him what to do with Abdul Ahad. The commander told them to kill this ‘munafiq’. My two sons were killed within minutes of each other.
My youngest son, Nazir Ahmad, was almost on the death bed, crying day and night remembering his two brothers. He was a very active man and used to work very hard. On the day when Bashir and Abdul were killed, he was not at home. Otherwise, he also would have been killed. He was on duty at that time and did not come back at night.
But the terrorists thought that their identity had been disclosed. They thought that Bashir and Abdul were killed by Mushtaq Peer, so the third son Nazir Ahmad can create trouble for them if he remains alive. Because of this, terrorists devised a plan to kill Nazir also.
There was a taxi driver in our area named Manzoor. My son Nazir always used his taxi when he had to go anywhere. Mushtaq Peer involved the taxi driver in the plan to kill Nazir.
Terrorists Killed My Third Son in Cold Blood
One day, at about 4 pm, Nazir came home. He always used to take noon chai (namkeen tea) after returning home. He had just finished his tea when the taxi driver Manzoor came to our house. He said something to my son. Nazir told us that he was going to have dinner at a friend’s residence. He wore a new salvar kameez and waistcoat and left with Manzoor in his taxi.
The next morning, we came to know that Nazir had been killed by terrorists in Dolipora village, which is at a distance of about four kilometres from our village. Then we got to know that taking Nazir Ahmad to Dolipora was a trap laid by the terrorists. Manzoor had been instructed to bring Nazir to the residence of Ahad Sheikh at Dolipora to have dinner there.
My Youngest Son Was Killed While Having Food
When Nazir Ahmad reached there, he was served dinner. But he did not know that terrorists were already waiting in the other room, ready to kill him. When he started eating dinner, suddenly two terrorists entered the room and started firing at him. He was killed on the spot.
This way, all three of my sons were killed by the terrorists. Then the terrorists started offering justification for the killings. We were named as mukhbir (spy). We were named as a family which was anti-Pakistan and anti-azadi.
My wife cried so much after the horrifying loss of her sons that she went mad. My health also became very frail.
My grandchildren cried that they did not want to go to school. The teachers were radicalized. Even they used to taunt my grandchildren and call them ugly names.
We lost everything in society. We lost our sons. We were looked upon as lowly and small people. We were regarded as anti-Islam people. Why, Anuradha ji? What harm did we do?
But we had no human rights or any other rights. Terrorists were the only people who had any rights. They could come and kill anybody.
No one in the media came forward at that time to cry that the terrorists had snatched our human rights. Everybody knew of our devastating loss. But no one in the media came forward to even condemn the terrorists. PM Modi had not taken away your media freedom. Then why didn’t you exercise your freedom and cry for our devastation?
We had no help, nobody to lend a shoulder in our hardship. We did not have money to raise our grandchildren. I could not answer their questions when they asked about their father.
The man who killed my sons has four children. All his children got government jobs.
We suffered for years and years at the hands of terrorists and also at the hands of society. Now after the abrogation of Article 370, we feel that the UT Administration is finally taking the right steps for Kashmir. We are experiencing freedom from terror for the first time.
Even now, you have the freedom to write the stories of people like me. You have the freedom to write how we, the people of Kashmir, are experiencing freedom from the terrorists for the first time.
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