Sharjeel Ahmad, who was among four civilians killed in forces firing near encounter site in Khudwani, Kulgam yesterday, could have survived had the forced allowed people to take him to hospital on time, eyewitnesses said Thursday.
They said Sharjeel was shot by troops while he was going towards the bathroom at his friend’s house.
His friend is supposed to get married on coming Saturday.
Sharjeel used to sleep at his friend’s place due to lack of space at his own house.
Sharjeel, a tipper driver, was also planning to get married in last week of this month.
“Sharjeel was going to the bathroom in our compound when the army men fired bullets towards him. As we rushed to take him away from the spot, they again fired a volley of bullets on us. Some bullets pierced through windows into our kitchen. He screamed towards us to rescue him but we were not allowed by army men to go towards him. For almost an hour, he lay in the compound losing lot blood because of which he died later,” his friend said.
He said the army men did not allow anyone to pick him up to the safety or shift him to the hospital.
“I told him not to venture into the compound but he went out saying the firing had already stopped. As soon as he went out, he came running back asking me to open the door. Before I could reach him, the army men fired two gunshots towards him, targeting him intentionally and he fell in the compound. My sons and a daughter-in-law came out and tried to take him to the safety but the army men shouted at them saying let him die on the spot. After an hour we somehow managed to shift him to the car to rush him to hospital. The army men misbehaved with me and threatened to shoot me. I said if you intend to kill me too, go ahead with it, we don’t fear the death. The army men yelled and shouted saying they had lost three men already for which even if the entire locality is killed, they won’t hesitate to do that”, said Haleem Bano, a neighbour.
Another dead civilian, an 18-year-old boy, Bilal Ahmed Tantray used to live at his maternal home, at Mishpora, since childhood.
On Monday he had travelled to Anantnag town, along with his friends, and bought new uniform and other clothes as he was supposed to join the 12th class at Government Higher Secondary School Qaimoh the day he was shot dead during the clashes at Khudwani.
He left behind four other brothers and parents.
“The last time he visited his home was some twenty days back,” recalls his father, Nazir Ahmed Tantray, a load carrier driver.
“He had been brought up by his maternal uncles with whom he was living since his childhood. On Wednesday morning as the word about the encounter spread, he had left to Khudwani and achieved martyrdom at around 12 in the afternoon after being shot in the chest at Khudwani bridge. We came to know about his killing at around 1 pm”, says Nazir Ahmed, Bilal’s father.
Some eight kilometres away, another household in Tulkhan area of Bijbehara was in mourning as 28-year-old Aijaz Ahmed Palla died during clashes at Khudwani .
Aijaz, a famous cricketer of his area, Batpora Khudwani, and nicknamed as Tendulkar for his batting style died after receiving a bullet wound at around 3 pm near the encounter site in Khudwani.
He had left home to work. He worked as a carpenter to support his small family comprising wife and mother in law.
He had been married some eight years ago at Tulkhan and was not having any children. He had sold off all the property and managed to construct a one storey concrete house there.
“He left for work in the morning saying he won’t take lunch along today. He was mostly known for his batting style in his native area as he played lots of cricket”, says one of the cousins of Aijaz.
Police on Wednesday claimed in a statement that all the four dead civilians were killed in crossfire during the gun battle.
(With inputs from Ahsraf Ganie)