Boycott in the memory of Rabbit martyrs
Pattan residents in Kashmir had strange reason to stay home
The residents of Pattan, a former hub of militants, had a strange reason to stay away from the polling booths. They boycotted the parliamentary polls in memory of rabbit martyrs.
However, moderate voting was also witnessed in some pockets of the Pattan constituency.
People, who stayed away from the polls, said how they could forget the sacrifice of a 16-year old boy, Mohammad Rafiq Bhat of Narbal, who was killed in police firing in the area during the summer agitation last year.
The Pattan residents broke in tears while memorizing the incident. “Bhat had four pet rabbits and they managed to escape from the cage after his killing. All of them went to the graveyard, where Bhat was buried and died on his grave one by one. We can’t forget those rabbits who have set a best ever example for the humans that we should not ditch the blood of martyrs,” said Manzoor Ahmad, a businessman and resident of main town Pattan.
The slain youth’s father, Abdur Rahim said, “My son was not part of the protest. He tried to save two women as police and CRPF men were firing indiscriminately on the protesters. During this process, he received two bullets on his forehead and bled to death”.
“My son had four pet rabbits. They stopped taking food from the first day of Bhat’s death. Since my son is buried in a graveyard, few yards away from his residence, all the four rabbits used to go to his grave and were digging it. After a week they died on his grave one by one. We have buried them in the same graveyard,” he said.
Abdul Ahad, a shopkeeper at Pattan market said the rabbit news is still afresh in his mind. “I can’t forget the day when I and almost all my family members broke down. Animals have shown us the way how to be loyal to the martyr’s,” said Ahad, who stayed away from the polls.
He added, “I personally feel that voting never benefits Kashmiris. Let the Almighty decide our fate now as enough blood has flown”.
The Palhalan area in Pattan has witnessed countless encounters over the years during which many militants and troopers were killed. “My son, who was the district commander of Hizbul Mujahideen was killed in a gunfight with troopers some 14 years ago,” said Ghulam Rasool Khanday, 65.
He said that his younger son, Javaid was tortured many times by army and has become mentally ill. “I stayed away from the polling because my vote could not have made my mentally challenged son normal,” said Khanday.
A group of youth in the area told Rising Kashmir their area has always stayed away from the polls. “We can’t play with the martyr’s blood. India has always been using elections in Kashmir as a tool to befool international community,” they said. “We will vote only when Kashmir issue is resolved as per wishes and aspirations of people.”