It was Tuesday of 13th September 2016 when I along with my maternal uncle went to buy few items of luggage for my marriage which was going to be held in the last week of the same month. We reached Bohri Kadal, Srinagar at 6:30 am as knowing that the curfew will be imposed from 7:00 am.
I had no connotation with our early entrance into the market except to not witness wrath by the armed forces deployed daily on the roads in the curfew, because few days before some ambulances and civilians were attacked by the troops on roads.
We had parked our car outside the shop (at the main road) in which we were. It was about 6:45 am, no shop was fully opened but every shop was less than half opened. I had bought one luggage and was bargaining for the second one. It was good environment around the market with no disturbances. We were talking to the shopkeeper and suddenly the atmosphere changed, and it only indicated that the curfew has been imposed but at an odd time.
All the shopkeepers pulled down the shutters of their shops so as to evade the fury of troops. Our shopkeeper did the same as others. These were CRPF Troops who started to shout lewd comments which rang up my ears as if somebody was striking my ears with an iron rod.
The whole atmosphere of the road changed in few seconds with their entrance. They had seen us inside the shop and now, they wanted to unleash their total wrath on us, but fortunately, we had already pulled down the shutter. They were abusing every shopkeeper and all those who ran away to take refuge. It was so alarming and timorous atmosphere for all of us as I was continuously thinking that, what will happen to us if they entered the shop!!. All the time I was feeling so frightful for us all. I was about to fell unconscious but somehow I retained my will to remain strong. The troops ran amok in the area as they smashed the back window of our car which was outside the shop.
They were in a frenzied state as if they wanted to devour us. All the time the troops were horribly shouting with the motive of striking us by any means. We all remained quiet with fully bereft of strength & confidence. My throat & tongue had become very parch. I was uttering some Qur’anic verses in a feeble voice so as to receive help from Almighty. It was for the first time in 2016 Uprising to experience this kind of an event.
With the time, the shouts disappeared slowly and slowly. For few minutes we remained in the same state and after that we heard some Kashmiri voices around. Every shopkeeper brought up their shop shutters and we saw the troops are there and the movement of people had begun again. We felt some respite from the horrible & fearful life changing event. And then after we left back for home in our car of which back window was smashed by the troops. Those 10 minutes were very dangerous as if it had come with a nightmare.
It serves as a trigger to put me in the state of despondency, whenever I recall this turbulent event. My soul completely vibes whilst recalling those images full of venom against us.
So many stories are penned down, this is just a leaf from those memories. Memories full of shrieks, dirges and fear.
This is Kashmir’s story…..
Independent Researcher & Aspiring Social Worker
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