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Sole breadwinner of a family killed in police firing

Ninteen year - old Saleem Rashid Wani was orphaned at young age and was now only source of livelihood for his two young siblings,Masraat,17 and Aslam,15.

Written by Mir Ehsan | Baramulla |
July 1, 2009 6:26:39 pm

Ninteen year – old Saleem Rashid Wani was orphaned at young age and was now only source of livelihood for his two young siblings,Masraat,17 and Aslam,15.

On Monday,when young Saleem fell to Police bullets at town’s main square,the brother sister duo lost everything.

Saleem was killed when Police opened fire on a demonstration protesting against alleged misbehavior of a lady whose brother had kidnapped a minor girl. Family members claim that Saleem at the time of his death was on way to collect revenue for a cable network where he was employed.

Five years ago after death of his parents,Saleem being an eldest son took over responsibility of looking after his minor kin. Despite his young age he performed every menial job to keep the hearth of his family alive. “For us,Saleem baya was like a father and a mother. But cruel police men snatched him from us,” cried his younger brother Aslam Rashid,who left his education half way due to poverty. “We were very young when almighty first took away our mother from us five years ago,and then two years later our father too died a natural death. We were orphaned and nobody was there to support us,” he said. “It was our elder brother who sacrificed his youth to give us comforts of life. Now,who will take care of us,” he said.

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Saleem though was enrolled at a local Higher Secondary School,but,his priority was to earn for his family,he worked as a revenue collector with a local cable network and used to earn 2,000 to 3,000 monthly. “For our family Saleem’s income was sufficient. Now,nothing is left with us,” said Aslam. Since Friday afternoon,the house of Wani’s is crowded with relatives,friends and neighbors and every person seeks answer why Saleem was killed. “My brother was not a militant,neither he was responsible for any crime then why was he killed,” wailed his sister Masaraat. “My brother had a dream to spent lot of money on my marriage. Now who is going to arrange for my marriage,” she shouted while being consoled by her relatives.

Aslam said his brother was killed at the main chowk when Police opened fire. “My brother was going for revenue collection when he was hit by a bullet,he died on the spot. When,I reached hospital and took his body,the Police and CRPF again opened fire on our procession. I too sustained a rubber bullet injury,” he said.

Though officials claim that Saleem was part of the mob that pelted stones on the Police and CRPF,Deputy Commissioner Baramulla has ordered a magisterial inquiry to find out the reason behind police firing. “How can Police justify the killing of two youths in Baramulla,” said Shabir Ahmad a local elder. “There are hundreds of methods to quell the protest. But,unfortunately,the trigger happy police only know how to fire bullets,” he said.

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