Survivor Of Kashmir Firing Refutes Army Version

6 November 2014
The Hindu
Zahid Rafiq

Srinagar: For three days now, Basim Ahmed has been living a bloody nightmare. 'I can't believe I am alive and they are dead,' he told The Hindu about how two of his friends were shot dead by the Army in Kashmir on Monday. He was travelling in the car along with the two victims as the Army opened fire at the vehicle. He refuted the Army version that there were three checkpoints and the car sped past two and rammed into the third one. 'There weren't three checkpoints. Only a few soldiers were standing on the street and they whistled for us to stop, but Faisal, who was driving the car, did not hear it. We had brushed a tipper a few minutes ago and Faisal was nervous because the tipper driver was calling out to him. We asked him to stop and he applied the brakes abruptly, trying to halt the car,' said Basim. And then it started raining bullets. 'The first bullet hit Faisal's arm and he shouted Hatai Mojai (Oh my mother!). He let go of the steering and the car rammed into the electric pole on the roadside,' Basim said. Basim, thin and agile, ducked under the dashboard. Faisal was hit by four bullets and Mehraj-ud-Din three. The two wounded boys, Shakir and Zahid, were hit by two bullets each. They are being treated at the Army hospital. Basim has no idea how long he remained in the car. 'When the bullets stopped, I somehow rolled down the car window and crawled out. The soldiers fired at me, but I kept running down the roadside into the empty fields. I ran as hard as I could,' said Basim. 'I reached someone's house and they gave me water. I had no money and they gave me Rs. 10 for the bus fare,' he said. When Basim reached home after dusk, he found his family crying, believing him to be dead like his friends. 'I haven't left this room for the last three days. I want to go to Faisal's home and console his mother,' said Basim.