When Feroz Ahmad Dar, a 35-year-old sub-inspector in J&K Police, was laid to rest at his family’s ancestral graveyard at Dogripora in south Kashmir Friday night, the lines he had posted on his Facebook wall four years ago returned to haunt his friends and relatives.
“What is going to happen to me the first night in my grave? Just imagine…yourself in your grave down in that dark hole…alone. Think about the day people will be carrying you to your grave and your families crying…think about the moment,’’ the officer wrote.
On Friday morning, Dar, who was posted four months ago as Station House Officer in Achabal, was killed along with five policemen when militants ambushed their vehicle at Thajiwara village. Late in the evening, his body was brought to his village. “He joined the police in 2010 as a sub-inspector and served at different places. He was a good officer, a dedicated son and a caring parent,’’ said a relative.
Dar is survived by his aged parents — he was their only son — wife Mubeena and two daughters Simra (5) and Adha (2). Similar scenes of tears and anguish were witnessed in the villages of the policemen killed in the ambush with Dar, including a constable who got married to his “childhood friend” barely two months ago.
At Nowgam village, in Shopian district, the parents of 24-year-old Sabzar Ahmad were inconsolable. “Just 45 days ago, there were festivities in our house as he got married to Saima Jan, his childhood friend and neighbour. Today, I received his dead body. I am unable to understand what has happened to us,’’ said his father, Farooq Ahmad.
“Sabzar had come home five days ago, seeking special permission from his officers for the night, to meet his wife and other family members. After Sehar (pre-dawn Ramzan meal), his brother dropped him at his place of posting. What will happen to his young wife now?’’ said the father.
Ahmad’s neighbours remembered him as an “ace cricketer”, who used to represent the village in local matches.
“My son joined the police two years ago when recruitment for Special Police Officers was held in the district. He was laid to rest soon after the body arrived,’’ said his father.
At Surasyar village in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, the parents of Tasveer Ahmad Dar, 25, were also grieving the death of their only son. “Tasveer joined the police force in 2012. After his death, the family is shattered. There is no one to look after his two daughters Fiza (8) and Toiba (4), wife Shabnum, and aged parents,’’ said Chadoora Station House Officer, Rouf Ahmad, who attended the funeral Saturday noon.“More than 4,000 people participated in the funeral, everyone was grieving his death,’’ he said.
In neighbouring Tangmarg village, the family members of 30-year-old Shariq Ahmad Lone recalled having long chats with him over the phone after evening prayers every night. On Friday, instead of that phone call, they received news of his death.
”He used to speak to all of us, especially to his three-year-old daughter Ayesha. We will never receive his phone calls now,’’ said Lone’s elder brother, Bashaarat Ahmad. “We buried him in a hurry last night, otherwise there would have been two more deaths…my shocked parents are suffering from heart ailments,’’ he said.
“Shariq was married five years ago. Since he was posted in south Kashmir, we were apprehensive about his security,’’ said Ahmad, adding that his brother had never participated in any anti-militant operation. Sheeraz Ahmad Bhat, 42, was buried at Audsoo village not far from the site of the attack. “After the tributes at Police Lines, his body was buried in his village late last night,’’ said a police officer at Achabal station. Bhat joined the force in 2001 and is survived by his two-year-old daughter Qurat-ul-Ain and wife Rubee Jan.
At Moominabad Shangus nearby, 30-year-old Asif Nazikee was the lone breadwinner of his family. “He was buried at night soon after his body reached the village. He had joined the police eight years ago to support his family, which is financially weak. He left behind his aged parents, wife Parveena and a four-year-old son. They will struggle now,’’ said a relative.