A 14-year-old cricket enthusiast to a 17-year-old Class XI student who helped with his father’s business, a brief look at some of the victims of the alleged police firing in Pulwama:
AQIB AHMAD BHAT (14), PRISCHOO VILLAGE
A cricket fan and player, the 14-year-old received a bullet wound to his head as forces opened fire at a crowd at Sirnoo village, barely 200 feet from the encounter site. A Class IX student, Bhat had left home in the morning, following the crowd to the encounter site.
His father, Bashir Ahmad Bhat, among those who reached the hospital to help, pushed through the people gathered around an unidentified body. “What I saw was my son, lying dead in front of me,” he said.
The family lives in a modest single-storey house. Bhat works as a labourer to support his family of five members. Aqib’s younger brother Junaid (7) played on his cellphone, oblivious to his brother’s death, while his 10-year-old sister remained at their house.
“We are waiting for January 26 to see who they will reward for killing this child,” his uncle Abdul Hamid Bhat told The Sunday Express.
LIYAQAT AHMAD DAR (17), PARIGAM VILLAGE
The 17-year-old had just written his Class XI exam, a year after undergoing an operation to separate his conjoined fingers. His father, Abdul Majeed Dar, collected milk from the village to sell in Srinagar. “He was with me this morning, helping me go from one house to another to collect milk. He came back home and had tea with the family. I left for Srinagar and he left for the encounter site,” Dar said. As soon as Dar reached Srinagar, he was informed that his son was shot in the head.
A commerce student, Liyaqat also helped his father maintain the account of his small business. “He had left with other boys from the village for the encounter site and now we will never see him again,” his cousin Arshad Dar said.
TAUSEEF AHMAD MIR (29), URICHURSOO
For the last four years, Tauseef’s father had not spoken to him, upset over his love marriage. He lived in a single room with his wife, son and daughter. An employee of J&K’s Power Development Department, Mir was last seen in his village around 9 am on Saturday, leaving with another villager on a bike. His five unmarried sisters looked to him with hope. “I had taught him never to be afraid and he remained fearless all his life,” his father Mohammad Ahsan Mir told The Sunday Express.
ABID HUSSAIN (28), KARIMABAD
While pursuing an MBA from Indonesia, Hussain had fallen in love with an Indonesian woman. The couple had moved to Pulwama after getting married. Hussain had set up a pollution checking centre at Sirnoo to support his family. He is survived by his wife and three-month-old daughter.