JEHANGIR ALI | 20 SEPTEMBER, 2015
Kashmir Shocked And Furious Over Father And Toddler's Assassination
Burhan, killed by assassins while playing on his fathers lap
SRINAGAR: Kashmir Valley is on a boil again following the killing of a former militant and his three-year-old son in the restive Sopore town by "unidentified gunmen".
Veteran Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani has called for a shutdown today against the killing of Bashir Ahmad, who ran a provisional store for a living, and his three-year-old son, Burhan Bashir, who was accompanying his father at the time of the attack.
The incident took place on Friday evening near their Sagipora residence in Sopore when the unidentified gunmen, believed to be two in number, reportedly used a grenade to blow up the duo.
When the grenade failed to explode, the assailants fired indiscriminately at them, killing Bashir on the spot while Burhan succumbed on Saturday morning. The Jammu and Kashmir Police has registered a case of murder into the incident but no progress has been made in the investigations.
Massive outrage was sparked by the killing in Kashmir Valley with social media abuzz by posts on the three-year-old's murder. Many people compared Burhan with Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian toddler whose body was found washed away on a shore in Turkey, evoking global outrage.
"Burhan, you're Kashmir's Aylan Kurdi. But your killing won't spark global outrage because you are a child of a lessor God," journalist Baba Umar wrote on Twitter.
Pervez Ahmad, the younger brother of Bashir, told The Citizen that the suspected assailants were roaming in the area openly on a bike without registration plate since morning and they were heavily armed.
"Sopore is a heavily militarised town. I fail to understand what stopped police from nabbing them. My brother wanted Burhan to become a doctor. The killers will never be punished but they will not escape punishment in the court of God," he said.
The killing has brought back the focus on "unidentified gunmen" who have unleashed a reign of terror in Sopore, the hotbed of anti-India sentiment in Kashmir and hometown of Geelani, and its adjoining areas after the new PDP-BJP coalition government came to power early this year.
The incident comes three days after the mutilated bodies of three Hizbul Mujahideen militants were found in an orchard in the nearby Dangerpora locality of Pattan. While the J&K police had said that the trio were affiliated with "Lashkar-e-Islam", a breakaway faction of the Hizb, the later owned them up and blamed the forces for killing them in custody.
Earlier in June, "unidentified gunmen" unleashed a reign of terror in Sopore town, killing four people, including a senior Hurriyat activist. The relatives of the victims as well as the opposition National Conference and the Hurriyat sought to link the killings to the Union Home Minister Manohar Parrikar's "terrorist-for-terrorist" remarks.
Terming the killing of a three-year-old as "big tragedy", Geelani Saturday said no religion in the world allows killing of child, even on the battleground. “It is the murder of humanity and whoever had done this act has committed a serious crime against the humanity which should be protested by every human being,” Geelani said in a statement.
“Death of a Syrian child Aylan Kurdi shook the whole world and the killing of Kashmiri child Burhan has left the entire Kashmir in mourning. Everybody has a question in his mind that for what crime was this three years child killed," he said.
Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Muhammad Yasin Malik said he would observe a daylong hunger strike at Pratap Park here on Tuesday against “mysterious killings” in Kashmir.
“Growing incidents of mysterious killings are a conspiracy to damage Kashmir’s freedom struggle. Kashmiris will not remain silent spectators to these gruesome murders. International community should probe these killings so that the faces behind them are exposed,” Malik said in a statement.
He said he would go on hunger strike to “urge international community to act and protest against this killing spree in Kashmir.”