Umar Qayoom, 17, was picked up by men in uniform from Soura and tortured in custody. He suffered internal injuries during torture and succumbed on 25 August 2010 at SKIMS. Umar was a taekwondo player and had won several medals in different competitions. Umar’s family has stored away all these medals in a cardboard box. The box has never been opened after Umar’s death. I asked very hesitantly to see these medals knowing that would make the family relive the tragedy all over again. Umar’s sister Nahida was brave enough to put them on display in Umar’s room alongwith a teddy bear—the first time after Umar’s death.
Umar’s another sister Urziba says he was afraid of protests and stone pelting. “He would lock himself up in his room whenever protests and stone pelting broke out,” recalls Urziba.
Umar didn’t know that’s what will get him in the end.