Srinagar: Last Friday, 21-year-old Qaiser Amin Bhat was seen washing blood stains off the Jamia Masjid floors after police had assaulted the mosque with pellets and tear gas.
At least 30 people had been injured, with ten youth hit by pellets in their eyes, during that very incident.
Qaiser never had any idea that the next Friday his life would end at the same place when a CRPF vehicle would crush him to death.
Qaiser had told his family members yesterday that he was going to offer Friday prayers at the Jamia where he usually went, and told them he would return soon.
“He never did,” a broken relative said.
“He was gobbled up by the demon of death. And everybody knows who the demon was.”
Qaiser’s personal life was tragic and he had a “chequered” history.
He was born in the Fateh Kadal area of the old city of Srinagar, the home of his ancestors.
“After completing his schooling from Saint Solomon High School, he went to Sri Pratap Higher Secondary School for further studies,” his neighbour and close friend, Shafaat Ahmad, told The Kashmir Press.
Ahmad said circumstances did not allow the deceased to carry on with his studies as he was hit with several back to back tragedies
According to him, Qasier’s mother died of a prolonged illness in 2009. A year after that his father also passed away.
“This caused untold miseries and problems for Qaiser and his two sisters since they were mere kids then,” Ahmad said.
“After their death they were adopted by their paternal uncle, Ghulam Mohammad, and their paternal aunt, Shahzada Begum, who resided at Dalgate,” he said, adding, “Both the uncle and aunt then moved to Fateh Kadal. Qaiser was the oldest among the three siblings. Toiba, 18 and Iffat, 16, were his two younger sisters and they are still students now.”
A few years later, another tragedy struck Qaiser when the daughter of his uncle, who lived with them, died in an accident. This caused the uncle, his wife, and Qaiser and his two sisters to move back to Dalgate.
“Qaisers Uncle used to run a transport business. He was the lone bread winner who supported them in their studies and would bear all other living expenses,” Ahmed said.
“His father, Mohammad Amin Bhat, was also a great business man and would often attend exhibitions in different parts of the world,” he said.
“Qaiser had also begun doing business at Nowhatta. He would work and study together.”
Ahmed said the deceased had cleared his matriculation.
“But tragedy struck the family again, sending shivers down their spines when they came to know that their only hope was mowed down by a CRPF vehicle in Nowhatta,” he added.
Soon after his death, the boys from downtown refused to take Qaiser to Dalgate. They carried him to his ancestral home at Fateh Kadal.
Inside the house, Iffat was passing out repeatedly. She was unable to bear the trauma of losing her brother.
Iffat’s sister, Toiba consoled the younger sister.
“Do not weep. It will make his (Qaiser’s) soul restless,” Toiba told her sister.
“Remember, he is a martyr”.