Politics, placards and a dead son

Tufail Matoo, 17, was killed at Rajouri Kadal on 11 June 2010 when police fired a tear gas canister at him, hitting him in the head. Tufail was returning to his home from his tuitions. Tufail would spend most of the time in this room at his maternal residence at Nawa Kadal preparing for the medical entrance examinations. This room remains mostly locked now. It has become a pilgrimage site of sorts for the family. “It is very precious for us,” says Tufail’s father  MohammadAshraf Matoo. The family has put all the placards protesting Tufail’s killing in his room. “When we feel his absence, we unlock this room,” says Ashraf. “Even his friends come here whenever they feel Tufail’s absence.”
When Tufail used to leave for school, he would ask his grandmother for some pocket money. “When I will start earning, I will repay you all the pocket money,” Tufail’s family recalls him telling his granny. That day was never to come.

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