The demon called Ikhwan

Published at September 14, 2017 12:22 AM 1Comment(s)48801views

Writhing in pain he shouted for help but none dared to turn up

The demon called Ikhwan

Abrar Ahmad Sheikh

Brothers form a close knit bond. Brothers share unrequited affection. Brothers love beyond imagination. I lost my brother. We struggle to live and ultimately die. The grief pooling after the natural death dies down. But the separation by the bloody gun prolongs the trauma.

Gun rattling is a routine in this besieged paradise. It digests humans. Gun has turned Kashmir a graveyard. Gun does not discriminate. Gun knows no relation. It is devoid of human feelings.

Ajas belt in district Bandipora (my hometown) was infamous for being an Ikhwan bastion. The dreaded cult let loose a reign of terror in the area.

At gunpoint, they looted, molested, humiliated, maimed and killed their own. These pawns were earning by killing the innocents.

As the dusk fell on September 14, 1999, Farooq Ahmed Sheikh left for his maternal home for dinner. He was the most pampered one in my family. My brother was a happy-go-lucky chap. A pet in our family, his request would turn out to be orders for us. He was a charming young groom. He had been tied in a nuptial knot. All the arrangements for the wedding were done. But then the demon descended.

Aunt was busy in the kitchen cooking fried fish - his favorite dish. The notorious trio (three Ikhwanis) raided the house and caught hold of him. The gun-wielding men responsible for my brothers killing are Mohammad Ashraf aka Ashul, Manzoor Ahmad aka Mani Raedi and Khurhsed Mir aka Sheedi Mir. They asked him to accompany them to a particular household. At gunpoint, he did as directed.

The triumvirate was sent by the founder of Ikhwan; Kuka Parry, the folk singer-turned-militant who turned out to be a killing machine. This government sponsored militia had an authoritative position and the group was running a parallel government here. They looted the meek lot at gunpoint. The fear instilled in the hearts is refusing to evade.

They tortured him and fired on his arm twice. They left him at the fringe of the village near Aquarium (now a garrison); he was writhing in pain till the crack of the dawn. He shouted for help but none dared to turn up.

Such was the fear of the “illegitimate gun”. Their target was my maternal uncle. His only crime was to be an associate of Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), a politico- religious organization.

Death devastates families. We are not the same since his death. The decent bread earner was snatched from us. How can I describe the feeling of my mother who still feels him somewhere in the dark corner of our home? He was killed in the dead of the night.

Tragedies either destroy or unite. It has been 18 years since my mother last cooked fish. My parents are suffering from acute depression. We never mention him in front of them.

How can we forget his youthful frame? He was working as a Junior Assistant in the department of Horticulture. He was our hero. All the decisions would be bypassed from him. He was the apple of our eyes.

My brother was laid to eternal rest the next day. People remember him as a caring, lovely human being. He never believed in harming anyone.

Recently, I watched the archival CD in which my brother was filmed singing in the wedding of our relatives. He had planned to lock the memories of his D-day but destiny had some other plans.

This wonderful advisor was an exceptional manager. Besides, he is remembered for his humble nature.

We could not lodge First Information Report against the known killers due to fear psychosis. We have been devastated by the brigade who was licensed to silence anybody anywhere anytime.

Any auspicious occasion has its share of gloom in it since his departure. August 3, 2003 will be remembered for pretty long time for obvious reasons. That day, my elder sister was to be married. She had penned down elegy in memory of his adored brother. Her secret diary was unveiled.

As she sang it on her wedding, the number of moistened eyes increased. Tears came out gushing. Her cries and the longing for her brother took a different turn. The threat still persists.

My elder brother insists to close the main gate soon after the sun sets. My brother will never be back.

One of the killers is working with the Indian army. This is how the justice delivery system works in Kashmir.

Injustice anywhere is threat to justice everywhere. Our demand for justice falls on deaf ears. We searched from pillar to post but to no avail. We have been disappointed. To sum up the long story short, I recall the famed couplet of Sudarshan Faakir:

Mera qatil hi mera munsif hai

Kya mere haq mein faisla dega?


Author is pursuing post graduation from the department of Library and Information Science, University of Kashmir. Views expressed are author’s own.



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