While ferrying the early-morning slaughter victims to hospital in his cab, Nisar saw a naked person in front of his cab. He had a stick in his hand.
Nisar Ahmad’s routine ride came to a screeching halt on the early morning of 23th December 2022 when he saw an elderly man on the road. As he moved down the blood-littered motorway, he realized that some cold-blooded killer is out to terrify the town.
In that misty morning, none could muster courage to stop the early morning slaughter. But Nisar rose to the occasion and shifted two wounded elders to the hospital before controlling the killing spree.
“It appeared a wild attack,” Nisar recalls the madness of the moment. “People were running for their lives, signaling me from a distance not to go ahead. But I went forward and found another injured person. I put him in my cab and took him to the hospital.”
But before Nisar’s heroics, a biting cold of December had turned deadly in Diyroo village of district Anantnag’s Aishmuquam town. That morning, Mohammad Ashraf, 34, woke up hearing some loud noise.
Ashraf rushed outside and saw his cousin Javid Rather in an incensed mood. Even before he could enquire about his state, Javid hit Ashraf with stick of kindling wood on the head. The early-morning blow knocked him unconscious.
Before hitting his cousin, Javid had already created havoc in his home, injuring his father Ghulam Hussan Rather.
“His family members were screaming for help, but no one was coming to their rescue,” Ashraf recalls the harrowing hour of his life. “Javid beat up his loved ones and leave them injured one by one.”
A baker by profession, Javid then left the spot and proceeded towards the street outside his home. His mother Hafiza Begum was trailing behind him amid the panicked atmosphere.
Some villagers saw Javid telling his mother to accompany him to a local shrine. His mother agreed, but wanted him to drop the stick in his shivering hand. But she soon became his next target.
Her dead body was found on the way to Laripora village, a few kilometers away from her house.
Amid the alarm, a health official at sub district hospital Seer had sent a word to his staff asking them to report to duty as soon as possible.
“When I reached the hospital,” the health official recalls, “it was a chaotic environment. The injured people and few dead bodies were being brought everywhere.”
Among the injured was a man with a bandaged head. He was Javid’s first victim: his father, Ghulam Hussain Rather.
“When he first started attacking us,” Nahila, Javid’s sister, recalls between sobs, “we called for help, but none could save us from Javid’s madness.”
A Class-8 dropout, Javid was raising his family with a bread shop at Pahalgam. “He was not involved in any drug activity,” Nahila turns down the rumored method behind his madness. “In fact, he would visit faith-healers for blessings.”
But the locals termed the killer baker’s action as an act of chronic addiction. “A normal person wouldn’t do what he did,” says Mushtaq Ahmad, a local villager. “Such callous actions can be attributed to intoxication.”
Following the incident, locals staged protest demanding ban on liquor and drugs in the district.
Meanwhile, after killing his mother, Javid had moved towards Aishmuquam town and found his next target — Mohammad Amin Shah.
The elderly man was reciting fatiha outside a graveyard when attacked by an unassumed assassin. He was shifted to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
“It appeared as if a man-eater was running amok in the town,” Nisar recalls.
Javid’s early morning slaughter then consumed Ghulam Nabi Khadim. The elder was out to buy morning bread. He became Javid’s third victim. Next in line were Mohammad Sultan Saka and Abdul Rahman Wani.
While ferrying Javid’s victims to hospital in his cab, Nisar saw a naked person in front of his cab. He had a stick in his hand.
“It was Javid,” the driver says. “I asked him to leave the stick and sit down.”
The cab driver thought that if he didn’t control Javid there, more lives could’ve been possibly lost. He tried to calm him down before overpowering him. He then called others and handed over the killer to police.
“Javid was not mentally challenged,” the cab driver reckons. “He was raising his family for many years and is also running his own shop. God know what made him to unleash death on his own people.”