Conflict

Indonesian widow of slain Pulwama man leaving Kashmir on a heartbroken note

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Ishtyaq Ahmad 

Srinagar: In 2016, Abid Hussain, 35, travelled to Indonesia after completing his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in a bid to get a job in a private company and his luck favoured him.

Hussian got a job in a private company in Jakarta and on the first day he saw a girl and at the very first gaze, he fell in love with her. Both started dating. Abid suggested the girl to change her name as it was a bit difficult to pronounce.

She agreed to be named as Saima. The couple married in 2017. In September 2018, they were blessed with a baby girl.

On Abid’s request, Saima agreed to travel to Pulwama district in the first week of December where she met her mother-in-law, father-in-law and other family members of her husband.

She faced problems as she couldn’t understand Kashmiri language.  Abid and his sister used to talk to Saima in English and she steadily started mingling with her in laws and other women in Sirnoo area of Pulwama district.

But everything changed after a brief gunfight took place in the area on December 15. Not just the three militants were killed but seven civilians were killed too also including Abid.

“I had asked my husband to get milk for our baby from the market. When he didn’t return after an hour, I started looking for him and after two hours came to know that he has been killed by the army,” said Saima, as tears swell her eyes.

She said that her husband never told her that situation was this bad in Kashmir. “Nobody understands my language here. I am having an Indonesian passport and I am not a Kashmiri citizen,” she said.

Saima now has decided to pack her bags and fly back to her home country. “I came here with my husband. Now I won’t live here. I will go back to my country. Army has killed my husband and now they will kill me too,” she said.

“I have called my parents and they told me to return as soon as possible. Since I arrived here, I only saw cordon, cordon and cordon. Highest level of fear looms large on every face here.”

Seven civilians were killed after armed forces opened fire on civilian protesters near the site of a gunfight in Kharpora Sarnoo village of Pulwama district last week. Three militants and an army man were killed in the gunfight.

National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah while reacting on the killings said that it is a massacre and there is no other way to describe it.

Earlier, Abdullah while reacting to the civilian killings had said that it was ‘another blood soaked weekend in Kashmir‘.

PDP President Mehbooba Mufti while reacting to the civilian killings said that there would be no probe which would bring back the dead. She also asked that ‘is this what was expected from the Governor rule’.

She also said that no country can win a war by killing its own people.

Peoples’ Conference chief Sajad Lone while reacting on the civilian killings said that the administration seriously needs to evaluate the cost of such operations. He added that ‘hope the administration gives up its ‘Rambo mindset‘.

Police, in their statement said that they were ‘deeply grieved’ by the loss of civilian lives, however, claimed that the crowd came ‘dangerously close‘ to the gunfight site.

(With inputs from KNS)

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