Muzamil Jaleel from Srinagar

From Indian Express: “Death of a Stone Thrower

“There is chaos and a few elderly women too pitch in to convince the boys. At one point, the teenagers give in. The elders organize Jinaza, the funeral prayer, in a hurry and the body is taken towards the local graveyard in neighbouring Parimpora. On their way, the boys change their mind and place the stretcher carrying Fida’s body on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway. Minutes ago, an army convoy had passed through and the elders apprehend a clash. After a lot of pleading, the boys agree to bring the body back home.

Fida’s body is placed in the middle of a tent, erected in an empty plot of land, especially for the mourners. Dozens of women encircle it. Soon Fida’s mother Zahida Nabi brings henna to paint the little finger of his left hand – a local custom to prepare a groom before he leaves to the bride’s home. “He is a groom. He is a groom,’’ Zahida repeats. The crowd gets hysterical. And as the blanket is lifted off his face for a final glimpse, a few women shower almonds and sweets on his body. Fida’s mother starts singing dirges in Kashmiri.”

“The boys pick up the stretcher again. Their plan is to keep the body inside the mosque and wait. A local cleric, however, intervenes and pacifies them. Finally, a procession moves towards the Eidgah graveyard.

At 5 am, Fida is buried next to his friend Anees who was killed last week. “He (Fida) had come and helped dig the grave and carry mounds of earth,’’ his friend Waseem recalls. “We didn’t know, he is the next’’.

It is already dawn. The sky over Srinagar is overcast. Within an hour, the soldiers will be again on the streets to impose curfew.

PS: Fida’s friends tried to organize a blood donation camp at his house in Usman Abad neighbourhood but the police didn’t allow the officials of the Blood Bank from SMHS hospital to come.”


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