Tribune News Service
Srinagar, March 26
NC vice-president Omar Abdullah on Tuesday visited the pro-militant Hajin town in north Kashmir — which was stunned by the abduction and killing of a 12-year-old boy last week by ultras.
Omar visited the family of the boy, whose charred body was found inside his house which was damaged in the gunfight in which the two Pakistani militants were killed, in Hajin’s
Mir Mohalla and expressed his condolences.
The visit by the NC leader, who had earlier addressed an election rally in neighbouring Baramulla district, marks a dramatic re-entry of mainstream politics into Hajin.
The political activities in the town had come a halt since, at least, since the summer of 2016 when the Kashmir valley was gripped by widespread protests and a group of foreign militants deeply entrenched themselves with local population.
Immediately after his visit, Omar tweeted that the boy’s family was “struggling to come to terms with their loss”. “There can be nothing worse for a father than to lend shoulder to his young child’s coffin and nothing worse for a mother than to grieve at her young child’s grave. Kashmir has seen too much of this suffering heaped on parents,” he said.
A police official said that Omar stayed with the family for almost 20 minutes and the security arrangement for the visit was made nearly an hour before. “No one whistled and no one threw a stone,” the official said.
The shocking abduction and killing of the boy has stunned Hajin and left its residents in doubt about their reverence and support for militants. For the past four years, when militants first found refuge in Hajin, the town had remained a no-go zone for mainstream politics and an unwelcome spot for security forces.
Omar is not the only politician who has visited the town. A day after the abduction and killing of the boy, as anger against militants swept the town, NC candidate from the north Kashmir constituency Mohammad Akbar Lone was the first to enter Hajin.
“It would have been impossible for any politician to come here, but when Akbar Lone came on Saturday, no one did anything. Everyone is in shock what has happened and what to do next,” said a resident of Hajin’s Mir Mohalla.
The police official said a majority of people in Hajin were “very angry” with the militants. “There were some signs of exertion and fatigue among the people but the incident has come as an abrupt jolt to them,” he said.
There can be nothing worse for a father than to lend shoulder to his young child's coffin and nothing worse for a mother than to grieve at her young child’s grave. Kashmir has seen too much of this suffering heaped on parents.— Omar Abdullah, NC Vice-President