Killing of four year old child in militant attack sends shock waves across Kashmir

Nearly after 10 months, abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir has been unable to contain violence

Killing of four year old child in militant attack sends shock waves across Kashmir

Gulzar Bhat

On Friday, at around half past 12 am, the Jehlum river as usual was flowing gently through the Bijbehara. The pleasant summer sun was smiling down the town. A group of CRPF men had been deployed near the Padshahi Bagh bridge in the area. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, scant amount of traffic was on the roads. Mohammd Yaseen travelling in his own car along with his 4 -year-old son Nihaan Yaseen and a relative pulled off the road across the bridge to visit a  government office, located a short walk away. In the balmy weather, little Nihaan and the relative preferred to stay inside the car. A little later, a fusillade of  gun shots suddenly pierced the air unleashing a bedlam in the small borough.

It was a militant attack, said a police official.

One of the bullets ripped through the car and pierced young Nihaan’s shoulder while another one hit a CRPF man.

Soon they were evacuated  to a nearby medical facility where they both died of their injuries.

“After receiving the bullet, little Nihaan had started throwing up while bleeding heavily. " He died in the hospital only after a few minutes " said Showkat Ahmad Bhat, Nihaan's uncle.

He said that he heard about the incident via social media.

Last year after revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, Modi-led NDA government had said that the move would usher in a new dawn of peace and development in the troubled region. However, nearly after 10 months, the violence in the Valley has hardly petered out. The educated young men continue to sign up for various militant groups.

Last month in a single militant attack in north Kashmir's Handwara area, five security personnel including an army colonel, a major and a police officer were shot dead. Over last 24 hours, two militant attacks have taken place in the south Kashmir. Yaseen, a resident of  Mochu, Yaripora in Kulgam district is a physical education teacher by profession and was visiting the town for some official purpose. He had taken his son along with him to buy him a dress, said a relative.

Nihaan was the only son of his parents born after two daughters.

The killing of Nihaan not only turned the life of Yaseen's entire family upside down but also sent shock waves across the Valley.

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah took to twitter to deplore the killings. He wrote that he condemned the dastardly attack without reservation.  People’s Democratic Party also condemned the attack.

In a tweet, the party said that the civilians continued to pay the price for the policies of war, violence and escalation advocated by destructive elements.

Following the incident, a video of the mourners carrying the corpse of child on a bedstead went viral across various social media platforms. The video shows the mourners scrambling to caress the face of deceased child.

"As his body reached his home, a pall of gloom has settled over the entire locality. I don't think any one in the village could eat or sleep tonight", said a local resident. When Nihaan was being taken for the burial to a nearby graveyard, the area echoed with ear-splitting cries of both men and women.

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