Tuesday, August 10, 2010

No pain bigger than losing one's mother

Aisha, third woman victim of Kmr unrest

Srinagar, Aug : Death came in the form of a stone for 55-year-old widow Aisha of Basantbagh Gowkadal in Old City Friday evening. She was neither a stone-pelter nor part of any protest but got caught in the violent clashes between angry youths and troopers in the area. Aisha had left her house to buy some milk at 8.30 pm after the curfew had eased and the troopers were rushing back. However, some clashes erupted in the area and a stone hit her in the chest and she fell down.Her death has left her three sons orphaned, having already lost their father some eight years back. Aisha’s elder son had moved out post-marriage three years back and for the two other boys, she was everything.“She asked me for Rs 20 so that she could buy milk. Troopers were almost leaving for their respective camps. There was a CRPF vehicle still parked in the locality and suddenly youths started throwing stones at it,” says Aisha’s youngest son, Firdous Ahmed. “My mother had poor eyesight. She told me that she would return soon but, instead, we received the news that she was hit by a stone.”Firdous says the family had gone through hard times after the death of their father. “My father was a labourer and after his death some eight years ago, it was my eldest brother and mother who looked after us,” he says. “Now we have no one to call mouj (mother). No bigger pain than losing one's mother.”Locals say it was very difficult to say the stone from which side hit Aisha. “Stones were raining from both sides. Youths were stoning the CRPF vehicle and police and CRPF men were retaliating with sling-shots, stones and even teargas canisters,” they say.Living in a small house in the interiors of Basantbagh, Firdous, a salesman at a shop, says it would be difficult to come out of the shock. Their house wears a deserted look as the one who would bring smiles on the faces of inmates was gone forever. With her death, the desire to see the brides of her two younger sons also lay buried.“She always wanted to see our brides. But death knocked first,” says Firdous, sobbing.He rues that his mother continued to be on the ground unattended for at least 15 minutes after being hit. “As stone-pelting was on, we were afraid to go out despite receiving the news that our mother had fallen down,” says Firdous. It was only at 9.15 pm that they could come out and remove her to the hospital.According to the medical certificate the cause of the woman's death has been described as “cardiac arrest due to traumatic cardiac rupture". She was hit by a stone on the chest, the certificate further mentions.Aisha is the third woman victim in the ongoing unrest that began June 11. Fancy Jan (25) was hit by a stray bullet at Batamaloo on July 6 and a 17-year-old girl Afroza was killed during a protest in Khrew on August 1.

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