8 years on: Justice eludes families of three martyred youth

Srinagar, June 29, 2018 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, eight years have passed after three teenagers were killed in Islamabad town during the 2010 uprising but justice continues to elude the families of the victims. Shujaat-ul-Islam, 17, Ishtiyaq Ahmed Khanday, 15, and Imtiyaz Ahmed Itoo, 17, were shot dead by the Indian police personnel in the compound of a house when they were chasing protesters in Anchidora locality of the town on June 29, 2010. Three other persons received bullet injuries in the police firing.

The family members of Shujaat-ul-Islam of Anchidora said that he was a pious boy and had a passion for reading books and reciting the holy Quran. “After passing 12th standard, he had started to support his family. When he was only three-year-old, his father Muhammad Ashraf Baba, a well known preacher who used to run a seminary in his locality, was shot dead on May 25, 1996 by the Indian Army-backed gunmen Ikhwanis. As Shujaat grew up, he worked as salesman at a local shoe shop to support his family,” they said.

Ishtiyaq Ahmad Khanday was the lone male child of his parents. A student of class 10, Ishtiyaq was an enthusiastic and talented boy. “They killed him inside the compound of our house,” said his father, Ahmadullah Khanday. He said that their attempts to seek justice didn’t achieve anything.

After the death of his son, Ahmadullah Khanday was forced to sell the cab he was driving to pay off the debt he owed for his newly constructed single-storey house. Ishtiyaq’s mother, Jameela Bano said since the death of her son her health deteriorated and she is still undergoing treatment. “We were constructing house for him but before we could shift there, he left us alone,” she said.

Imtiyaz Ahmed Itoo, 17, from Watargam village in Dialgam, used to support his family along with his brother. His father, Abdul Ahad Itoo, who is in his mid seventies, is a small farmer. Imtiyaz Itoo had left studies at an early age to support his family. His mother, Jawahara Begum, is also suffering from various ailments. “Since the day Imtiyaz left us, I have not been able to sleep,” she said as she broke down.

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