They woke up very early, had a bath and offered “Tahajud prayers”.
Bandipora: Night was approaching; people were rushing to their respective homes. I was alone puffing a cigarette outside my house in Shahgund village of northern Kashmir, lost in thoughts, suddenly two long bearded man appeared in front of me, a cigarette which was tightly clasped between my fingers fell down due to the fear.
Two AK 47 assault rifles were hanging from their shoulders. Without taking much time, they requested me for a dinner.
I could not dare them to say no. Providing space to a militant is not easy, it could turn my hard earned house into debris within seconds as is being done whenever militants hole up anywhere. I took them straight to my house, some 15 footsteps away from the place. They wanted to stay at my house for the night and I agreed to their request.
My study room which has windows never been opened, books and few newspapers were open scattered on floor and my Press identity card was hanging on the wall. My room was like a hideout for them as nobody except me dares to enter my room. My family has given me a separate room for study purpose, not for sheltering militants.
When the militants entered into my room, I was hesitant to inform my family, but I had to. My mother started preparing food for them. The militant guests stayed in my room; they discussed Islam and Jihad and few started reciting Quran not loudly but in a slow pitch. I was standing guard around house.
They stayed for the whole night. They opened their bullet proof jacket, and kept them in one side of a room. They put all the weapons in the corner of a room, we had not slept for long night I was exchanging holy war topics with them. I got a good time to fiddle with their weapons. I put AK-47 on my shoulders and that was quite heavy, the small hand grenade was scary. I thought if I will put hand over it may explode.
My mother requested all of us to not speak about militants outside until they will not leave; my other siblings were also attached around those two rebels. I walked to the kitchen to bring food for the guests, they washed their hands and stretched a cloth on the floor and started reading “Kalmia” before they started eating.
They both the militants were Pakistanis. When my mother finished serving them food, she also talked to them and asked them why they left their home and came to Kashmir. “We are fighting for the protection of Islam. Our sole aim is to fight for the supremacy of Islam. We believe in life after death, we are living a temporarily life here in this materialistic world, the good life is hereafter, so we are striving our hard to make our hereafter best”, they told.
When my mother asked these Pakistani militants how their parents reacted to their decision of becoming a militant in Kashmir. Both replied, “They are proud of us. When we achieve martyrdom they feel proud of being the mothers’ of martyrs.”
During our course of conversation with them, I fiddled with their mobile phones, which were loaded with some Jihadi Tarans, Afghan War.
One militant shared some incidents of encounters with me, which he has been facing in Kashmir and narrated how he escaped from cordons.
They woke up very early, had a bath and offered “Tahajud prayers”. During the prayers I could see tears rolling down their cheeks. We gave them clothes for wearing as they had not changed their own clothes from long time.
When the Fajr Azaan was given in the nearby mosque, they started preparing to leave. Before leaving they promised to us if Allah wished they would again visit them sometime.
(Source News Despatch)
2015 Kashmir Despatch