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Just the other day I made a post about smile but perhaps people don’t know how difficult this is in my part of world.

Today as I left home in the morning I was making a list of what I had to do in my mind. It was Monday so a hectic day for me. As I walked the short distance from my home to catch a bus I overheard two men saying that someone has been killed in the old city. My heart sank as I knew instantly it would be a young boy. I rallied my mind to take some decisions as I knew the day would be full of disturbances. Questions like should I go to office if there is no transport, Should I call a colleague for a lift or should I go back home were to be answered.

I was happy to see a bus which I boarded. As I sat my phone rang. It was mom calling to tell that she had called my uncle who told her that a boy of their locality has been killed by a smoke canister. Mom wanted me back home but I told her I was fine and in a bus. She hung up instructing me to take care of myself.

For the next hour and half I travelled the large part of the city, changed two buses in a quest to reach my office. People in different parts of the city were protesting against the killing or should I say murder. And we protest in a novel way that is by throwing stones.

In Office as I reached out for the newspaper the face of the 15 year old with closed eyes and a swollen pale face stared at me. He was wrapped in the stripped bed sheet characteristic of the local hospital with his head heavily bandaged a strip tucked under the chin. The boy was killed by cops who fired a smoke shell at his head.

This is the fifth civilian killing since the beginning of 2010. Doctors who had attended the boy said his brain was badly damaged and some of his brain matter had come out.

AND HE LIES NAMELESS IN PCR (Police Control Room) screamed a headline telling how hoards of anxious people came for identification. Anxious people, whose children had not returned home. That is how life is in my Kashmir.

The paper read ‘As the shroud was opened, every eye turned moist as a pale innocent boy lay still. Blood was still oozing out from his heavily bandaged head. Clad in a pheran (traditional Kashmiri cloak) the nameless youth seemed to be in deep sleep. Some youth took his pictures with their cell phone cameras.’

“One more Kashmiri family has lost a son today. His parents must be eagerly waiting for him to return. But little do they know that he is no more” the paper quoted a youth.

The youth of Kashmir protest by throwing stones on police. The police retaliate by throwing smoke shells on them. The shells used by are for military combat operations and are not allowed to be used on civilian population. But in Kashmir there are no rules only. Also the police aim the shells at the heads of the protestors making them fatal. Is anyone complaining? The matter was reported in local newspapers and police came up with a statement that they will change the tactics but things never changed. What proof does one need after the recent death of the boy? What is the international community doing, watching how the world’s largest democracy kills us like flies? Swat! Swat!

There are so many ways of dispelling protestors but they use none. Rubber bullets were tried sometime back but they did the same thing. Aimed at heads and made them fatal.

What are our youth doing? Every Friday after prayers and on Sunday afternoon they pelt stones. It is a way of protesting. There is so much anger in the people of Kashmir against the atrocious done here. It has to find a vent. Stone pelting might be one such way.

A cousin of mine working abroad was chatting on net with me a few months back. He asked about the circumstances here. I told him that a boy has been killed and people were protesting. His answer was “I want to throw a stone too. I saw his picture in the local newspaper on the net. What are they doing to us? I am so angry”

They call it (stone throwing) 20-20 or DING DONG. A lot of boys ( it is mostly young males) have died in the process by smoke shells as well as bullets but that does not make us stop. We are ready with the same fervor the next time.

I often wonder what will happen if they take police off the streets. Stone pelting will stop. Or will it.

We have been wronged as people and we have every right to protest. What we want is address our issues and grievances and if you really want to do something help us find a solution to the Kashmir issue.

Till then it is going to be DING DONG!

My mom called again asking I should return. My brother had called home to say that things are bad all over the city and she should instruct me to return home. I think of the work that is to be done and tell mom that I will come along with a colleague who lives around the same area as mine. I will have to walk a bit though. She will be a nervous wreck till we return home but I am helpless.

My heart is heavy thinking about the family of the boy. And I know a lot more families apart from sharing their grief will be on tenterhooks till everyone is back home. The DING DONG is going on; we just don’t know when will the next one GO DOWN.


jap21's picture

My heart aches

How much violence will it take? How many boys will have to die? Violence is like a virus, when it begins, it is copied rapidly by angry people, from both sides.

This is what is dangerous about violence: it begins to govern us, when we allow it. How do we reverse this? This is the question. I think the discussion is not about your right to protest, which is obviously fair, but the discussion must be on the ground of how much violence is good for anything. In this sense, I think you will agree with me that the more violence we allow, the more violence we will obtain.

Stopping the monster of violence means taming our demons inside each of us, and inside our societies as a block. This is the most difficult thing to do for humanity. But there is got to be a start, somewhere, somehow, anyhow.

Why not start with ourselves and consciously take stand for less invasive, non violent methods to protest? It is hard, I know, but maybe, just maybe, someone could copy our non violent ways, and we could see a glimpse of hope for next generations.

My prayers are with you and your people dear Nusrat. Receive a hug from accross the world, in loving friendship.


Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva
Tarija - Bolivia
South America

Nusrat Ara's picture

Dear Jackie, You know what

Dear Jackie,

You know what the armed struggle in Kashmir for self determination is just two decade old and we have been fighting from 1947 non violently. There has been a shift to non violence from the last few years and we still get bullets. The agitation regarding tranfer of land in Kashmir to non residents generated a huge protest. It was all non violent with not even a single stone pelted. People just took to streets. And what we got. A heap of 50 dead in a few days.


busayo's picture

The cops are monsters

This is disheartening, the cops must be monsters, gunning down an unarmed boy, this violence should stop. They should
know that the future of Kashmir is at stake, this is the time for the international community to intervene in the situation of kashmir. I am sure they are not waiting for the time the whole of the place is wiped out. I am very sorry about the insecurity around you, we continue to pray that you receive your independent in Kashmir soonest. My heart goes out to the parent of that boy, i pray that God will console and comfort them.
Receive another loving hug from another part of the world dear sister, we are together in this struggle and God will surely bring victory.


Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Nusrat Ara's picture

Thanks Busayo. They have

Thanks Busayo.

They have killed another boy and in what condition. I will be making a post about it tomoorow. I havn't had access to net these days. You should have seen the picture of the other boy and his mother in papers. The boy drapped in the same hospital sheet while his mother looked all mad yet helpless devastated.


Tina's picture

Unbelievably Shocking

Dearest Nusrat,
You say that this is the fifth civilian killing by the Police/Armed Forces since the beginning of this year? That is so shocking to me. Why is this happening? I agree with both Busayo and Jackie. The cycle of violence needs to be broken somehow but that is a long term venture - to change a culture of violence - and something needs to be done as soon as possible. I am also concerned as to why the international community is not up in arms about this, although I can see how it could be difficult to ascertain when or if any of us should intervene in another country's politics or culture of doing things. Many times the west has come in to another country with the full intention of restoring peace and security and ended up inflaming the situation. That is the last thing needed here.

Perhaps there are people already in the know working in diplomatic ventures behind the scenes, or perhaps the UN and our governments are not yet aware of the problem. If it's the latter then I hope this article will raise further questions and that your story will be picked up by other media outlets throughout the world until all those who can help will stand up and take notice.

I am so sorry for the parents of the boy, but also sorry for you, for having to live in such a tense environment where the simple act of travelling between work and home puts yourself and your family in a state of danger and high anxiety.
Sending you much love and support and prayers for restored peace to your home.


Nusrat Ara's picture

Dear Tina, Thanks dear. The

Dear Tina,

Thanks dear. The international community is silent not because they don't want to intervene in the internal matters of a country but because it suite their interest. This bad state of affairs is a parting gift of the colonial rulers of the region. I this they owe us this. They should really help in solving our issue.

I will be soon making another post do read the updates.

Lots of Love


Jennifer Ruwart's picture

Footage from BBC

This video brought your story home for me... there is much anger and sorrow. Do women ever protest, too? Thank you for bringing more perspective to this situation for all of us. I know we are all on standby to learn how we can help.

It sounds like there was also violence in Sopore over the weekend. Please stay safe and know that we are all supporting you as best we can from afar.

Jennifer Ruwart
Chief Collaborator
JR Collaborations

Nusrat Ara's picture

They have killed another boy

They have killed another boy Jennifer. I will be making a post about it soon. Hadn't had net acsess these days.

Thanks for the understanding and the support.


jadefrank's picture

unrest in Kashmir

Dearest Nusrat,

Living in such an uncertain climate, where young boys are killed by police and stones and smoke canisters fly - I cannot imagine except through your reporting, which allows me to further understand the conflict and the feelings on the street - the sentiments of the Kashmiri people.

As Jennifer said, we are on standby to learn how we can help and we pray for your safety - you are our dear sister and while we look to you for information and insight to the situation in Kashmir, we also worry like mothers for your well-being.

When will the violence end? As Jackie mentioned - fighting violence with violence will only perpetuate more violence. But I agree that there is a need for the civilians to be heard. In what ways can civilians demonstrate their frustrations and hold the police accountable for such senseless and unjust killing - that are more effective than throwing stones?

How can the women - whose means are generally more peaceful and community-oriented - take part in the process? By reporting on the issues and telling the world - you are already doing this Nusrat, but what the other women?


Nusrat Ara's picture

You are forgetting the

You are forgetting the bullets Jade. A bullet has left a 16 year old dead. You know a very miniscule of our population throws stones, mostly young boys high on adernalin But the rest of the people protest by coming on streets, marching and shouting slogans. That makes the state restless resulting in a few deaths. The state makes its utmost efforts to prevent us protesting and that too in quite a non violent way.


JaniceW's picture

Our hearts are with you

It seems that there is no clear solution to the problems in Kashmir as long as it remains a disputed territory and the citizens of the region are not free to dictate their own destiny. January 5 was "celebrated" as self-determination day as it was on January 5, 1949 that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed a resolution recognizing the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, yet since then, what has come of the resolution?

As long as Kashmiris are excluded from the negotiations, there are no mechanisms for them to be a part of the roadmap for their future. As "terrorism" becomes the increasingly urgent topic of the region, Kashmir as an issue loses its primacy and focus is shifted from the unlawful occupation. And meanwhile, the youth of Kashmir fall deeper into despair as any hope of a positive future fades away as the world turns its mind to other issues.

I thank you for continuing to keep the issue at the forefront of our minds and for putting a face on the conflict. For every victim is another brother, son, uncle, friend or husband who just wants to be heard. Stay safe and we will continue to hold you in our light.

Nusrat Ara's picture

This is the trick of the

This is the trick of the occupier. Kashmir is a pure territory dispute. There is no issue of religion. Our occupier colors it such so that they can label it terrirosm to make a better case in the international community.

You know the Hindus of the state were the first ones to demand independence. They were taken out of Kashmir by the occupier itself with some misinformation and then the occupier accuses us of ethenic cleansing.


Joannes's picture

Ding Dong!

Dearest Nusrat,

I am sorry for the situation in your country. Seems like police brutality is all over. Recently in Kenya, a young man was shot by the police and several injured during a Muslim protest over the deportation of a Jamaican imam Sheikh Abdullah Al-Faisal with claims that he is in the country illegally and also has links to the Alshabaabs (the Somali terrorists). Many were arrested too.
There have been other several cases of brutality and deaths in the hands of police. Live bullets are nowadays used anywhere, anyhow. I think it is time that the police exercised restraint in the use of live bullets when dealing with civilians.



We Can Do It!

Nusrat Ara's picture

Joanna I don't understand

Joanna I don't understand this trampling of human rights all over the world in various forms. Maybe it is just a battle of the strong and weak where the strong one is showing his might without care about the conditions and the rights of the weak who unfortunately is unable to defend himself.

May better sense prevail.


Sharese's picture

Violence Violence Violence


I feel you. The despair and numbness seems to take over. When the people who are to protect don't do so but rather are the ones that people need to be protected from. Anger seems to be in the world over. Often I wonder if it is that only pockets of optimism and light (such as you and I) exist in such dark forces, but I pray that it is the other way around- though I wonder if that faith is misguided.

I send my love and prayers to you and your country. While here women are killed daily by boyfriends/husbands and men are chopped for 30 Jamaican dollars (about US 40 cents). Everyday there is death and degradation. Yet somehow we keep on. You go to your office, I go to my girls' home. We each struggle to make a positive difference.

I am with you in sisterhood and humanity.



Nusrat Ara's picture

Thanks dear. I felt better

Thanks dear. I felt better reading your comment.
Lots of Love


Starland's picture

Let it stop

Hi Nusrat

I posted on my Journal the beginning of an non-violence program (more to follow) I've used over here from domestic violence to community/gang violence. It starts with identification so that we can start changing in the homes if we want to save our children. Take what you like and leave the rest. No matter what the culture, "being nice" can be taught, right?
No more stones. No more Ding Dong. Murder is not acceptable.

love and blessings

K-lee Starland, Ph.D.

Nusrat Ara's picture

Will surely read. Lots of

Will surely read.

Lots of Love


Rebecca Snavely's picture

Thoughts for peace

Dear Nusrat,

I echo so much of what has been written here to you - prayers for peace and action to end violence. I feel helpless in the face of such violence, but am reminded that small actions of peace go further than we may ever know. Please let us know how we can support you and your community for peaceful resolution to the conflict. And until that day we all hold you in our prayers. I'm reminded of a quote from Ellis Peters:

"He prayed as he breathed, forming no words and making no specific requests, only holding in his heart, like broken birds in cupped hands, all those people who were in stress or grief."

Nusrat Ara's picture

Thanks a ton Rebeecca. We all

Thanks a ton Rebeecca. We all need it here.



Nusrat Ara's picture

Thanks everyone. From the day

Thanks everyone. From the day I made the post it is today that I access mail. Been confined to home for a week. Will make a post tomorrow inshallah.

Thank you all.


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