Sherfun Nisa

Kulgam mourns death of a local labourer

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… Mout’e Tchooro Karith Khaeli Kam Khana Tai!

Kulgam, Apr 02: Unfortunate but true. South Kashmir has become synonymous with terms like encounters, clashes, CASO and killings. And amid this terminology, people continue to die and families continue to suffer.

The death is crudely indiscriminate – it makes no distinction between a militant, civilian, policeman, a paramilitary personnel or an armyman -- and this part of Kashmir has seen them all for quite some time now.

And this is what was repeated on Sunday – blood all over, no matter of whom!

And this time it was among others also of a poor labourer Mehraj Ahmad Mir.

“When I wash household items at a nearby stream, I don’t know why, but I get a strange feeling as if blood is flowing in the stream. The siren of ambulances haunts me,” says Nabeeza, an elderly lady from Kulgam.

This haunting was back when the body of 20-year old Mehraj Ahmad Mir was brought to his home in the Okey village of Kulgam, last evening.

“Moon has lost its charm, as if someone had inked it with blood. The sky is shedding tears. There is a strange silence in the atmosphere,” said Haleema, another native of Okey.

Mehraj was the only bread-earner of his poor family. He was last hope of his poor parents and three siblings, among whom his elder brother and one of his sisters are mentally unsound.

The family lives a miserable life on a little piece of land, on which there is his family’s two-storey home (still-incomplete).

Mehraj had left his studies at high school level when his father alone couldn't cope up with the family burden.

Neigbours of Mehraj describe him as a responsible and humble human-being. He started working as electrician on menial basis when he was a minor.

“This family lives in penury. For financial help, village committee has decided to raise funds. But that too won’t be enough for the poor family,” said a member of village committee.

Mehraj was laid to rest on Monday. His funeral procession was led by his own father multiple times at his native graveyard.  People from different areas came to offer the young boy a tribute.

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