‘He was nice to everyone’

  • admin@kashmirink.com
  • Publish Date: Dec 8 2017 9:02PM
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  • Updated Date: Dec 8 2017 9:02PM
‘He was nice to everyone’

Irfan Ahmad Dar, an army man, was killed in Shopian last week. His family and friends can’t imagine why

On November 25, Irfan Ahmed Dar’s body was found in Wotmula village in Shopian. The police said the 23-year-old from the nearby Sanzan village had been shot three times. The motive for his killing? He was an army man.

Irfan was home on holiday and was supposed to return to duty with the 175 Territorial Army in Gurez two days later. He had joined the army while still in college about three years ago.

His mother Shameema is in shock, barely able to speak and his teenage sister has been flitting in and out of consciousness since Irfan’s body was brought home.

“He was a pious boy and never interfered in any matter. That fateful evening, Irfan had just returned from offering Maghrib prayers when he went out. The entire village is mourning with us,” said his frail maternal grandfather, Ghulam Mohammad Khan, as relatives and neighbours sitting with him in his single-storeyed home nod in agreement.

Irfan had received a call, apparently from a colleague in Gurez, asking to pick him up from a nearby village. “Irfan was coming out of the mosque with me when he got the call. I didn’t want him to go as it was getting dark. But he wouldn’t listen. He said he had to go help his friend. This was the last time I saw him,” Irfan’s father Ghulam Mohammad Dar said.

“Irfan was nice to everyone and had no animosity with anybody,” he added. “I just cannot understand how his killing could benefit anybody.”

His grandfather said Irfan always wanted to join the army. “He studied in the army goodwill school in Ahgam village,” he said, adding they had never been “harassed by anyone for his choice of joining the Indian armed services”. “In fact, several youth from our area are in the army and the police. There is even a retired SSP in our area and he belonged to a staunch Jamaat-e-Islami family,” Khan said.

Irfan’s body was found in an orchard, his car nearby. “The body was lying face down and I did not see any blood or signs of him struggling. It seemed the body had been put there after the killing. In fact, villagers in Wotmula told us they hadn’t heard gunshots that evening. They had seen the car parked there but they thought someone must have gone into the orchards or the village,” Irfan’s neighbour Hilal Ahmed said.

Irfan’s family alleged the police are now “beating around the bush and harassing our relatives on the pretext of investigation”. “As if the killing of our son wasn’t enough, the police are rounding up all the people who had called on his phone hours or even days before. If the police are serious about solving this case, then they should simply check the call details and see who called Irfan just before he left home. Everyday, Irfan’s cousins and other relatives are being summoned to the police station and questioned,” his father said.

As to who they think could have killed Irfan, his family would rather not say. But one of his colleagues argued that “it does not seem to be the handiwork of militants”. “If that were the case, the police would have identified the men involved by now,” he said, asking not to be identified.