November 14, 2020. Srinagar, Indian-occupied Kashmir.
Abid Mir, 18, who was shot in the head by the Indian army on November 5. (Photo Credit: Stand with Kashmir).
During the gunfight that had ensued in the neighborhood of Meej, two armed rebels were killed and two civilians, including Abid, were critically wounded. While Abid succumbed to his injuries, another civilian is still battling for his life. The police blamed rebels for firing at the civilians but the families refute such claims.
Abid left home to the nearby locality to collect milk at 5:30 pm in the evening. I was unwell and in my bed. In some time, there was gunfire. It was somewhere close by. But I thought he had gone for his routine work, why would anyone harm him? I tried to hold myself from panicking. My daughter, Zahida, 22, became restless. I tried to tell her, “your brother has gone for his work and do not panic, he will be safe.” But she started crying and going from one room to another in anxiety. She started feeling something wrong had happened to Abid. I was having high blood pressure and was not feeling well. I could not control her. She kept on saying ‘they hit my brother’. We called his (Abid) number but no one picked it up. There was no response after multiple calls. It made us anxious. Outside our home there was army everywhere as a gunfight ensued nearby. We were still unsure what had happened outside. My brother-in-law entered our gate after more than an hour and informed us that Abid has been hit with a bullet on his head. All the fears of my daughter came true. After that I do not know whether it was day or night, I lost my complete senses. He was already rushed to the hospital in Srinagar by people and we too reached there.
Abid Mir’s mother, Naseema Mir, at her home in Pampore (Photo Credit: Stand with Kashmir).
When they had pointed a gun at him, an eyewitness told us, he had pleaded to them to let him go home. They killed him in a cold-blooded murder. It was the first bullet that the army fired and it was my son who was killed. He was at the hospital for a night before he succumbed. It was only in the hospital bed that I saw him. He was motionless with his head bandaged. The doctors knew he would not survive; they did not even take the bullet out of his brain, as it was too risky. They allowed me to enter the operation theatre. They allowed me in the ICU with him. He was my only son after two daughters, one of whom will complete her graduation next year.
He dropped his studies two years ago and started working as a milkman to earn. My husband works as a laborer and has been without work from last year due to the lockdown. His health has also been poor due to some complications. He was very young but the poor financial situation made him our only earning hand. He had the load carrier that was given to him by his uncle. He drove it to distribute milk every morning at 7 am. The boys of his age wake up late and enjoy their lives but he had a lot of responsibilities at home. He was beautiful and well-built. He looked older than his age. His sense of humor was great and he would make all of us feel lively, when he was around I would always laugh on his jokes. He was a budding flower in our family and was very obedient.
He did not have a gun in his hand, why was he killed? What was his fault? He had a milk-can in his hand. His auto has bullet holes everywhere. The milk spilled and blood spilled on the same spot where he was shot. He was a humble boy. He was not a militant, why was he killed? He was running a whole family of five. I do not know whom to question? He was my only support, he was telling me next year he will marry off one of the sisters. He always gave me hope that he would improve the situation at home. He had lot of dreams for home, for all of us. He would earn every day and would do some extra work to earn more. We were grateful that he was young and was helping us. But now what should we do, and whom should we ask?
Our children are being killed and it is as if nothing is happening. We don’t have anyone to seek answers or to question the killings of our children. My husband is bed-ridden after his killing, he is silent, he is not saying anything. I do not know what to do, whether I should give strength to my husband or I should cry or run away. He was planning to join the classes again and carry on his education. He told me he will appear for the exams this year as he had talked to his teachers as well. I was very happy how he was growing as a responsible man. Everyone tells me to show patience but I am a mother, how much patience can I show?
Had he been shot in his arm or leg he might have survived but he was shot at his head and it was aimed to kill. What will I do now, I can’t send my daughters to do work and earn. These killings boil the blood of our youngsters. How long can this (Zulum) injustice continue? On the day he was shot, he left at 7 am in the morning. When he left in the morning, his father helped him to carry milk cans to keep in his auto. After his work, he went to play cricket with the boys in the afternoon. He loved cricket but he would only play when he was free knowing he has many more responsibilities. When I would sometimes stop him from his game, he would assure me that he would play and earn for us as well. He would always give me hope that he would fulfill all the responsibilities at home.
I don’t know what to do? Or how to react to this shock. I am just trying to breathe for my two daughters now. He was dreaming of buying a car, he was telling me he would work hard and do better. His all dreams were crushed in seconds. I stayed in the theatre all night and I longed to hear one last word from him but he did not talk. I kept on kissing his feet, but he did not talk, I regret I could not have a last word with him.
As a mother, I cannot live with a thought that my child is alone in the grave. The hospital bed was full of his blood, the street was full of his blood. He was a strong young man. I feel everything is burning now, I feel fire everywhere. I know I am not the only one and I will not be the last mother who suffered this.
Stand With Kashmir (SWK) is a Kashmiri diaspora-driven independent, transnational, grassroots movement committed to standing in solidarity with the people of Indian occupied Kashmir in ending the Indian occupation of their homeland and supporting the right to self-determination of the pre-partition state of Jammu and Kashmir. We want to hear from you. If you have general inquiries, suggestions, or concerns, please email us at email@example.com.