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2 Cop Killings Escalated Orphanhood in Kashmir — 8 More Rendered Fatherless 

2 Cop Killings Escalated Orphanhood in Kashmir — 8 More Rendered Fatherless 

“Earlier in Hydepora, five kids were orphaned. I just want to ask, who will look after these kids now? I’m afraid that the next generation will be a generation of orphans.”


SOPORE — At around 4pm on 10 December 2021, Mohammad Sultan, 43, video-called his wife, Naza, and insisted for a long chat. 

Given his sober nature and busy schedule, Sultan’s insistence was unusual for his better half. He spoke to her and his kids for about an hour.

Naza recalled that conversation bit by bit as mourners took turns to console her in her home in Sopore.

“I was busy doing household chores, but he wanted to talk to me more that day,” she said. “I never knew he was talking to me one last time…”

That day, after Maghrib Namaz, as Naza was done with her chores, she heard some noises coming from outside. 

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Dismissing the din as a routine neighbourhood fight, she asked her father-in-law to take a look at the situation outside.

The elder came back screaming, “Taawan hyy pey (We’re doomed)!” 

Sultan, a senior grade police constable, was killed in an attack by unknown gunmen in Bandipora’s Gulshan Chowk. He was killed along with his colleague from Kupwara, Fayaz Lone. 

Kashmir police chief, IGP Vijay Kumar, told a local news agency that a Pakistani militant of the Lashker-e-Toiba outfit carried out the attack along with two associates.

DGP Dilbag Singh along with IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar visits slain cop Sultan’s Sopore home. / Photo courtesy: Twitter/JKP.

Sultan is survived by his father, Ghulam Nabi Dar (85), widow Naza and four young sons—aged 7, 9 and six-month-old twins.

The fallen cop had joined Jammu and Kashmir police in 2009 and was transferred to Bandipora from Kupwara one and a half months ago. 

He had deliberately pushed for this transfer to “stay closer to his home”. This way, Naza said, he could’ve easily taken care of his family.

“Death is inevitable, but this is madness,” Mufti Nisar Ahmad, Sultan’s cousin, said. “If he was killed by militants, I want to ask them, what was my brother’s fault? And if he was killed by any other agency, my question is still the same.”

Kashmiris, Nisar lamented, are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

“What will a common Kashmiri do? If 10 lakh soldiers can’t stop a handful of militants, then what’s the point of having such an army?” the slain cop’s inconsolable cousin said. 

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“I appeal to Indian and Pakistani governments, to either find a solution for Kashmir and stop this bloodshed, or kill us all at once.” 

Jahangir Ahmad, one of the Sultan’s relatives, said that eight Kashmiri children were orphaned in the Bandipora incident. 

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“Earlier in Hydepora, five kids were orphaned,” he said. “I just want to ask, who will look after these kids now? I’m afraid that the next generation will be a generation of orphans.” 

Outpouring of the same grief and grievance can be witnessed miles away from Sopore. 

Mourners in Lalpora, Lolab are wondering about Fayaz’s four orphans—Zubair Fayaz (14), Auqib Fayaz (12), Aadil Fayaz (08) and Shahid Fayaz (04)—besides his young widow and elderly parents. 

“Fayaz was the only son of his parents,” said Ghulam Rasool Wani, slain cop’s cousin. “His father is a fourth class government employee in the agriculture department and is about to retire. His elder son is a class 8th student and his younger son is yet to join the school.” 

Constable Fayaz

After joining JKP as PSO, Fayaz in 2018 became constable.

“I knew him [Fayaz Lone] personally,” People’s Conference chief, Sajad Lone, tweeted. “The biggest threat that we as people face is that death has become a statistic. A good statistic and a bad statistic depending which side of the ideological divide you are on.”

Twenty years ago, PC chief said, a policeman from Bandipora was killed alongside his father. 

“Saw photos of orphaned daughter and son. 20 years. No change in savagery. Remember just because today’s orphan doesn’t belong to you doesn’t mean tomorrow’s orphan won’t belong to you,” Sajad Lone said.

(Bisma Farooq contributed to this report.)

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