Kashmir : Father will come on Eid, bring me new clothes’

BK Online/ Srinagar
August 30, 2017 BREAKING NEWS 432 Views
Kashmir : Father will come on Eid, bring me new clothes’

In a green tunic and white shirt, she wailed and asked her mother to let her father out of the coffin. “Won’t he suffocate?” she asked them. Still in her school uniform, she attended her father’s funeral and then travelled in the ambulance to their hometown, Panzeth, 72 km from Srinagar. Eight-year-old Zohra had not met her father, ASI Abdul Rashid, in a month.
On Monday, the 55-year-old was shot by unidentified gunmen in the Mehandi Kadal area of Anantnag as he was returning to the local police station for lunch. A day later, Zohra has been told that her father left for Hajj and that the way to go there is in the coffin. “He will come on Eid and bring me new clothes,” she says.
The youngest of Rashid’s four children with his first wife, Zohra was clad in borrowed clothes. She was picked up in a hurry from her school in Srinagar as news of her father’s death reached her siblings and there was no time to change. Her hands are covered in henna. “I attended my cousin’s engagement two days ago and papa will come for the wedding now,” she said.
ASI Rashid had two things to look forward to post Eid. His elder daughter’s wedding date was to be announced and as soon as that was decided, he would head for training to Udhampur, to become a sub-inspector. His 24-year-old son Faisal, who serves as Special Police Officer (SPO) in the same district, says that while attacks on policemen had become frequent, Rashid barely took his weapon out of the station. “He used to say, no one has ever hurled a stone in my direction, I do not need to brandish a weapon.” He admits that he was scared for his own safety and had considered more than once the possibility of quitting the force.
For now, Zohra is happy to be back in her father’s village and trading stories with cousins and friends. “I want to do my homework but my bag is not here. We will go back to Srinagar in 10 days.” She goes to school in Srinagar where she lives with her mother, her older sister Bilquis and brother Irshad.
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Irshad (22) was the last one to speak to ASI Rashid. “He said, I will be in Srinagar as soon as I finish my shift,” the family repeats. The loud cries of Rashid’s second wife, Shagufta, surround the house as relatives pour in to offer their condolences. There are plates of untouched food in the kitchen and Irshad is inconsolable.
Zohra speaks of the green dress her father gave her last Eid. “I wear it all the time. These are my friend’s clothes,” she says, pointing to the clothes that did not fit her. Someone asks her if she is all right and and she nods her head, adding quickly, “I enjoyed playing with my father a lot more.” Sitting behind Zohra, her mother wells up and her siblings tell her the same story again, that their father will be back for Eid and will bring her a new dress.(Indian Express)

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