Thousands attend funeral, mothers sing mourning songs to praise their death
The two young student-turned-militants were ambitious sportsmen, one a cricketer another a footballer, who left homes to local sports field and arrived dead after three months following a gunfight that broke at Mujgund on Saturday.
Saqib Ahmed, 18, an ambitious footballer and Mudasir Ahmed, 14, a cricket lover, both residents of Hajin were among the three militants killed during the 18-hour gunfight that broke at Mujgund on the outskirts of Srinagar city.
The families of both the deceased militants were searching for them after they left their respective homes to play at the local Eidgah.
“They surprised us. Both the boys were living life normally with their respective families and friends. We are still in doubt how they joined militant ranks,” said Mushtaq Ahmed, a neighbour of Mudasir.
Locals said Saqib and Mudasir were neither influenced by any radicalized ideology nor were emotionally surcharged.
Family members did not believe that Saqib and Mudasir had joined militants till Mudasir’s gun-wielding picture surfaced on social media.
"Everybody in the area knew about the simple attitude of both the boys. We were searching for them till Mudasir's picture was uploaded on social media,” Nazir Ahmad, a local said.
However, Saqib's mother Mehbooba Begum said she talked to her son last week, who according her was happy after joining militant ranks.
“Joining militant ranks was the fate of my child. He left home to play cricket and after months conveyed us about joining a militant group,” she said. "I prayed for my son, for his honourable death. I am happy he got what he sought. I have no regrets. He chose the right path and it was not by his choice but by Allah’s will.”
However, Faeeda Begum, the mother for 14-year-old Mudasir Ahmed of Mir Mohalla is heartbroken and shell-shocked and is still waiting for her son to take meals.
"I am still waiting for his arrival. He was innocent. We were not expecting this at all. He left for playing cricket and didn't return,” Fareeda said.
According to family members, Mudasir was a naughty boy, ambitious of becoming a cricketer who had least interest in militancy-related activities.
“He surprised us by joining militant ranks. He was an innocent child,” Fareeda said.
Mudasir was the second male child among five siblings.
A day before the gunfight, Mudasir’s parents had made a fervent appeal asking their son Mudasir to shun militancy and return home for the sake of his elderly parents.
“When Mudasir left home in August, I was on way to Sopore and he come to me and sought permission for playing cricket in the local ground,” Fareeda said.
“I saw him following me and asked him to accompany me to Sopore but he refused and silently left toward the playfield. It was the last time I saw him,” wailing Faeeda said. “We searched for him till we saw his gun-wielding picture on social media.”
As the death of Mudasir and Saqib reached Hajin, thousands of people took to streets while wailing women led by Mudasir’s mother sang mourning songs to praise the death of the two sons of the area.