Dilnaz Boga in Srinagar

From Kashmir Dispatch: “Bearing Witness in Pampore

As the car swerved to avoid rocks put up by protesters on the road to Pampore, we did our best to try and keep up with the ambulance that was carrying the body of Rayees Ahmad (24), a resident of Khanmouh, Pampore who had been shot by police and CRPF during the morning protests on Sunday.”

“At that point, we were unaware of the fact that Nayeem Ahmad Shah, 19, a resident of Kadlabal, also shot in the same protest had passed away. ”

“Groups of young boys, with their faces covered guided our three-car convoy to the hometown of the deceased. In the ambulance, Rayees’s friends – young men in their early twenties – wailed from the back of the vehicle, signalling and screaming to the passers-by that his death must not be forgotten.”

“As we entered the town, we found streets lined with wailing women and angry men, waiting to receive the corpse of the martyr.”

“As young boys reached out to walk with Rayees on their shoulders for one last time, the town rallied around them, chanting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.”

“As helplessness turned to rage, residents pelted stones and burnt tyres to vent their sadness at the brutality of the violence perpetrated by the men in uniform.”

“As the procession of mourners made their way through the streets where once Tanveer must have roamed freely, the Tehsildar’s office and an outhouse bore the brunt of the unjustified killing. Using branches and sticks, they pried open the door and set fire to the government building. An ambassador car, belonging to the state official was also set ablaze, so was another police gypsy and Maruti car not far from there.”

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