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A wedding marred by tragedy
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar |
July 25, 2005 10:00 IST
Hardly anyone in Bangargund village in the north Kashmir Kupwara district would imagine that a joyous marriage function would be marred by tragedy and the bride would have to bear with a reception of sorrow and wounds.
The crestfallen groom, whose brother was injured even as three village boys were killed in the ambush laid by the troops of Rashtriya Rifles on Sunday in Bangergund village, initially refused pleas to go and get his bride.
It took a lot of debate and persuasion by the village to convince the groom's relatives for a subdued marriage even when the grief stricken family had planned to altogether cancel the function.
The ambush was laid by the army for the militants, but three innocent boys going to join the marriage festivities in the nearby home of the bride in the village fell to the bullets of the ambushing RR party.
The villagers allege that the local army camp had been alerted in advance and permission sought for night movement in the village during the marriage ceremony.
As the news of the tragic ambush spread, Bangergund village that was busy with festivities was suddenly overtaken by grief and sorrow.
The police identified the three boys as 12-year-old Wasim Sultan Wani, 11-year-old Bilal Khaliq Shah and 16-year-old Shabir Ahmad Shah.
The parents of the groom decided to postpone the marriage, but the village elders favoured a sober and subdued baraat with just few of the close relatives accompanying the groom Mohammad Jamal Shah.
The younger brother of the groom identified as Manzoor Ahmad Shah was among the group of the four village boys who were ambushed by the security forces, three of whom had been killed. The groom's brother is in hospital with serious bullet injuries.
Within minutes, the groom returned with the bride, but not to the traditional Kashmiri festivities. He returned to a mourning reception with women crying over the dead while the village men sat in silence as the bride entered the house.
The traditional feast called the wazwan prepared by the bride's family on Sunday went untouched.
The authorities rushed senior officers to the spot to calm down the tragedy stricken family assuring action against the involved securitymen.
Tension was high in the Bangargund and adjoining villages with protestors pelting stones and shouting anti-government slogans. The authorities responded with teargas and baton charge.
The state administration had only two days back ordered an inquiry into the death of a youth in the south Kashmir Kangan village by security forces while he was irrigating his paddy fields.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has expressed serious concern over the death of the three boys.
He has ordered an inquiry into the incident and asked the concerned security agencies to avoid such occurrences in the future at any cost.
The chief minister said human life is 'very precious and utmost care and restraint should be exercised while dealing with a situation to ensure that innocent people are not harmed'.
Sayeed said the incident is all the 'more unfortunate as the victims are young children'.
He has conveyed 'serious concern to the corps commander over the occurrences' and said such 'incidents are undesirable'.