By Aasif Sultan
Shopian: As government forces pounded Niyaz Ahmad Lone’s two-storey house with mortar shells at Kachdoora village in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Sunday, a dying rebel was writing on the wall as to what he was fighting for.
As the dust settled and people rushed to clear the debris, they found the Islamic credo (Kalima) written with blood in Arabic: “There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is His messenger.”
Five rebels were holed up in Lone’s house.
A local who was one of the first to reach the spot claims that he saw the writing first.
“As we were clearing the debris, we recovered two more dead bodies under the debris. Police had already retrieved three dead bodies from the spot. And then I saw the writing on the wall,” the local told Kashmir Narrator.
The writing, the local claimed, was written when the rebel was breathing his final breaths as it was not properly written.
“You can imagine a dying youth dipping his index finger in his own blood and writing on the wall for which he is dying. And we have faith that whosoever utters the Kalima while breathing his last is a man of paradise,” said the local.
There is a raging debate about the very nature of Kashmir’s struggle. Zakir Rashid Bhat, aka Zakir Musa, who parted his ways from Hizbul Mujahideen in 2017 and floated Al-Qaeda wing in Kashmir, emphasised that Kashmir’s struggle is “Islamic” and not “political” in nature despite the fact that Hizb cadre is also inspired by Islam.
The five rebels who were killed at Kachdoora belonged to Hizb.
The police identified them as Ishfaq Thokar of Paddarpora, Aitmad Hussain Dar of Amshipora, Aqib Bashir of DH Pora Kulgam, Sameer Lone of Hillow Shopian and Gayas ul Islam Thoker of Paddarpora. Save Aqib Bashir, all were residents of Shopian.
Politics aside, said another local, all rebels who have joined the militancy are inspired by Islam irrespective to which outfit they belong to.
A 19-year-old rebel, Rouf Bashir Khanday, who died in one of the encounters in south Kashmir’s Anantnag on Sunday has this message for his readers on his Facebook wall: “I want to die in the way of Allah to free Muslims from the oppressor.”
Lone’s house was nestled amidst vast orchards and after the gunfight the soot covered the fresh blossoms of the apple trees surrounding the house.
There was mayhem all over south Kashmir on Sunday as three gunfights were taking places simultaneously in the region. The final toll was 13 militants, four civilians and three army personnel.