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‘Who Will Take Care of Zainab’: Relatives, Friends Mourn Slain Civilian’s Killing
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‘Who Will Take Care of Zainab’: Relatives, Friends Mourn Slain Civilian’s Killing

Zainab, the nine-year-old daughter of slain Rauf, asked, “Will my father never come back?”


SRINAGAR — A pall of gloom has descended upon Mirjanpora locality of Downtown Srinagar, a day after Rauf Ahmad—a property dealer—was shot dead by unknown gunmen outside his home.

Rauf had gone out to buy groceries when he was fired upon by some unknown gunmen, killing him on the spot around the Maghrib prayers.

Nisar Ahmad, a local resident, told Mountain Ink that the residents heard gunshots but they had no idea where the gunfire was coming from.

“It was only after locals came out, after performing Maghrib prayers from a local mosque, and saw Rauf in a pool of blood lying on the ground,” Nisar said. He said that all this happened quickly and briefly. Rauf was shot multiple times and he died on the spot.

Zainab, the nine-year-old daughter of Rauf is in shock and is inconsolable. She said, “mera best friend mera baba tha aur koi nahi, loosely translating intoMy only best friend was my father and no one else”. With a grim face, Zainab asked, “Will my father never come back?”

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Rauf is survived by his wife, an ailing mother, and a younger brother, besides 9-year-old Zainab. The family puts up in a two-room shabby house. 

Shabir Ahmad, a cousin of Rouf who lives in a nearby locality, said that they were at home when they heard some gunshots. “At first, everybody thought that the power transformer exploded but in a few minutes, the news about the killing of a person spread. We ran to the spot and saw Rauf. He didn’t move. He was dead on the spot.”

However, a police spokesperson, in a statement said that Rauf received grievous gunshot injuries and was immediately evacuated to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

As the relatives and neighbours of Rauf assembled in their small house, women were trying to console Rauf’s wife, Shazia. She was crying, “Where will we find you now?” She kept repeating, “Who will take care of our Zainab now?”

Aqib Ahmad, another relative of Rauf, said that the family was dependent on Rauf. He was the sole breadwinner for the family. “Their survival is impossible now. The family has Rauf’s daughter, his wife, and his ailing mother to take care of.” Aqib rued that he fails to understand how someone would kill “a very simple” Rauf.

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Killings of civilians, non-local workers, saw a steep rise in the past two months in Kashmir with 41 casualties this year, including political workers, who police allege were killed by militants. 

Following Rauf’s killing, an assistant sub-inspector of police was also killed in south Kashmir’s Bijbehara. The officer died while being shifted to a hospital.

Meanwhile, political leaders from the valley, while condemning the killings, have prayed for the departed souls and offered condolences to the families.

The National Conference also condemned the twin killings. “Unequivocally condemn the militant attacks on ASI Muhammad Ashraf in Bijbehara and civilian Rouf Ahmad Khan in Eidgah in which both lost their lives. Our hearts go out to their families, friends, and colleagues. May Allah grant them a place in Jannat,” the party tweeted. 

Former J&K chief minister and People’s Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti tweeted: “No end in sight to this cycle of bloodshed & violence in Kashmir. Deepest condolences to their families. Allah (SWT) Jannat naseeb karein. Ameen.”

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