Army killed my son because he was Kashmiri, says slain teenager's dad

Army killed my son because he was Kashmiri, says slain teenager's dad

“My son was neither carrying a gun nor a stone. He was a student. Then why did the Army kill him,” said a wailing Mohammad Yosuf Bhat, father of 14-year-old Faisal who died in an Army firing on Monday.

“There is a rule in India that you can’t beat schoolchildren, but is killing a teenage student allowed,” he told Deccan Herald.

Faisal and 20-year-old Meraj-ud-Din Dar were killed when soldiers pumped bullets into the vehicle they were travelling in after it overshot an Army check post in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Monday.

Two more boys – Zahid and Shakir – were critically injured in the incident and are undergoing treatment at the Army hospital here. Basim Amin, the fifth boy who accompanied his friends, had a miraculous escape and returned home safely.

“Even for a second if we buy the Army’s version that the car refused to stop, the bullets should have hit it on back side and not on sides and front sides. They are lying and they killed my son and the other boy just because they are Kashmiris,” Bhat said amid sobs.
Recalling the events of that fateful day, he said Faisal had gone to the market to buy curtains for a room.

“We had a small function at our home on coming Sunday. He (Faisal) was busy with preparations and had gone to the market along with friends to shop. But alas, tyrants snatched my beloved son,” he rued.

Bhat makes his income from renting two of his shops in the vicinity. “I have an elder daughter who isn’t in her senses since her brother was martyred. My two younger sons aren’t able to understand what a tragedy has befallen them.”

Bhat’s brother Bashir Ahmad terms the investigation ordered by the Army and the state government as a mere eye-wash.

“Such probes have always proven a hoax in Kashmir. Justice demands blood for blood. When the Army knows their soldiers have killed innocents, what stops them from punishing them?” he asked.

Zahid and Faisal were cousins and childhood friends. Their common friends in the locality, Khawajapora Nowgam, remember them as “brothers in arms”. “One would always find them together,” said a young boy, Wahid.

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