April 12, 2018 5:53:30 am
Two weeks before her wedding, Mehjabeen was sitting in front of the lifeless body of her fiancé, weeping. Mehjabeen and Sharjeel Ahmad Sheikh had been preparing for their April 23 wedding. On Wednesday morning, she got a call that Sharjeel (26) had been hit by a bullet.
Sharjeel lived near the site of the encounter at Khudwani village of Kulgam, in which four persons were killed as security forces opened fire on protesters. Sharjeel’s relatives said he was not part of the protest and was targeted by soldiers.
“He was going to the washroom inside the compound of his house. As he stepped out, he was shot at,” said his cousin Owais Ahmad.
“For some time, they (soldiers) didn’t even allow us to pick him up,” he said. Sharjeel was hit in the abdomen and taken to nearby Qaimoh hospital, where he was declared brought dead.
Sharjeel’s body lay motionless at his uncle’s house as visitors trickled in. Outside, a group of boys were throwing stones at paramilitary personnel guarding the street.
“His father and mother are still at their home. They are yet to see him,” Ahmad said.
While Sharjeel was shot outside his house, 15-year-old Faisal Elahi had travelled some 12 km to reach Khudwani and was part of the protest. A resident of Melhora village in Shopian, Elahi was a Class IX student. He was hit in the neck and abdomen.
Another young victim was 18-year-old Bilal Ahmad Tantray. He left his home at Kujar village in Frisal in the morning to take part in the protests. He was hit in the abdomen and taken to hospital, and declared brought dead. Son of a farmer, Bilal was a student of Class VIII.
The fourth victim was Ajaz Ahmad Palla, who travelled more than 10 km to reach Khudwani from Tulkhan in Bijbehara. The 30-year-old was killed when security forces fired on protesters.
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