A billion tears and obstacles to the reunion with my slain brother Syed Ruban; in death.
Syed Tajamul Imran pens down the pain & misery he and his family went through, from the time they heard about killing of his militant-brother Syed Ruban to biding his adieu for last time.
Tragedy had since long time now got the address of my family with my cousin joining rebel ranks, and with my younger brother, Syed Ruban joining the rebel ranks, tragedy became more personified.
Ruban and I were more like friends. During our long conversations he used to say, “Some wounds don’t heal”. “Time heals every wound.” I would often respond to him. But the wound which he gave to me, proved him right. On 21 January 2019 we lost Ruban in Hapatnar Charar-e-Sharif gunfight. We came to know about martyrdom of my brother the next day. That day as soon as I came to know about the encounter going on in the woods of budgam, I have faced sea of emotions and mountains of pain.
Monday had started as another usual day for me but for some uneasiness in my heart. During the day many news portals and newspaper websites reported about the Hapatnar encounter, with some media reports talking about the killing of militants. Hours later the news reports were denied. But, by evening it was reported that three militants were killed in the encounter.
The events began to take dramatic turn for me late Monday evening when I was accompanying my friend to Noora Hospital in Srinagar.
Suddenly at 7:50 pm my mobile rang. It was call from one of Ruban’s friends. “He (Ruban) is said to be among the militants killed in the encounter,” he said. Listening to these words I felt choked. Some strange but intense pain crept in my heart. An hour later as I kept hoping against the hope about safety of my brother an army officer called my father back at home to inform that Ruban may one among the fighters and the encounter was going on. With this news my family went helter skelter to look for his dead body in Pulwama, Shopian police stations as asked by CO Ahgam Camp.
There was mourning in my home and our family members had started rushing to police stations in Pulwama and Shopian to try and get the body. As media reports confirmed about the death of my brother I started getting calls from army, CID and police officials that my brother wasn’t among the killed militants. I began to judge with surety that something is surely wrong with the precious piece of my heart, Ruban.
The night loomed large as if a million nights of dread had descended upon me and a call at 2 from CID official made me sure we have lost Ruban. In the night, without food, water and senses at 2 , I along with a friend started journey to Chadoora police station from Srinagar (where I was waiting on the banks of dal for any news) and at 2:30 am when we reached there we were told that there was no dead body of any killed militant there, and same tone was repeated at 3:00 am at Budgam police station.
Moving from one police station to another, in dead of the night, with tears and frenziness, I kept recalling the moments which Ruban and I had shared together as brothers and friends. At 6:45 AM I reached police control room the building which has symbolized horror for families for collecting dead bodies, but here too more tyranny and misfortune were waiting for me.
Restless and eager to see face of my brother I kept waiting to receive his body. At 8 am we were told that we can’t go inside to collect Rubaan’s body as officials were yet to come. Finally, after my pleas, and an hour later, I was allowed to go in. Ruban was lying motionless. My eyes first caught the sight of his shoes which we had bought for him few weeks back when he had visited home. They had taken away his watch and clothes.
During this period from 7 AM to 4 PM, I had remained in constant touch with IGP SP Pani and the tehn SSP Srinagar Imitiyaz Ismail Parray, to get my brother’s body back. Both were cooperative. They had assured me that I will get the dead body of Ruban in 10 minutes. But those 10 minutes turned out to be nine hours during which I fainted many a times.
However my friends from north to south made there ways to PCR Srinagar where I was waiting and durring the long wait they all reached and were with me through out the day.
Meanwhile, SP (SDPO) south city Srinagar was very rude in approach towards me at Police control Room,I kept asking men at police control room them to give Ruban’s belongings (Casio Watch, Addidas Shoes & Cloths) back to me, so that I can take them home too.
Finally with the intervention of the then SSP Srinagar I got the things back and ensured that belongings of other two fighters were also given to me, which I later handed over to their relatives. These things are a treasure for us.
They will continue to give us fragrance of Ruban. Six bullets had pierced my brother Ruban’s heart and chest. I could also see visibly enough that by rope the bodies of all three rebels including my brothers were dragged as I can see clear painful marks of same, and my brother Ruban had six bullets pierced, one in heart, few in chest all giving me death feeling of hopelessness.
Finally a team of Government medical college had arrived during day and we removed bullets from his body and changed clothes. Apart from him we did the same for Ruban’s friends, Marsad Bahe and Abu Hurarah.
On my facebook posts since morning, with the news of the killing of my brother and his body not being given back immediately, friends from media, lawyers, students remained with me throughout the painful day which had come in life after a night of horrors.
Finally, at about 4:30 pm, finally the body was handed over to us and we set for our home. when we took the dead body of Ruban back one police vehicle escorted us, which then returned back once jurisdiction of South Kashmir started.
At Nowgam, the first cavalcade of vehicles joined us and then throughout the route scores of vehicle and sea of people kept joining us. There were especially large gatherings of thousands of people at Parigam, Khanda, Newa, Gudoora, Karimabad, Pulwama, Bunoora, Bandzoo, Gaberpora, Keegam and Tukroo, all insisting that they want to have last glimpse of our Hero the martyr Ruban.
The journey to my village Nazninpora Shopian that gets completed in 90 minutes from capital city Srinagar took us more then three hours.
Finally at 8:00 PM when we reached home, relatives, neighbours all joined us in mourning and wailing. As I got my dead brother late in the evening, I talked with my Uncles, BABA, Maa, Sisters and it was decided that funeral would be held next day morning on Wednesday, 23 January 2018.
We took Ruban last time to house and me, my sisters,father, mother, Aunties and Uncles spent the night together with speechless Ruban in our arms. My mother during night took Ruban one last time in her loving lap and cuddled him all night and we cleaned him again during night.
At dawn break my heart broke into billion pieces along with other family members, it was time for departure of Ruban from house towards funeral and the process started at 8:30 AM with about ten funeral prayers offered till 1:15 AM in the day before we rested him finally.
His two wishes were fulfilled by Baba himself; one Baba lead his first funerial at our village and secound he was burried next to his friend Farooq Ahmad Hurra; A Hizb commander who inspired ruba to join armed struggle.
Importantly, two months ago I wrote a piece on how Ruban became a rebel and it was carried by lot of news agency, many top army and police officials had called me, summoned me and asked to persuade Ruban to surrender which we were trying our level best but during the encounter we were neither called nor even given any sniff of him being there.
Ruban is dear to me the way Hussain AS was to Hassan AS. Our (Mine and Rubans) friends who stood by me in all these 7 months when I was harassed, abused , summoned and at times some denied hosting or giving me space but these brave hearts, as soon as they came to know via my Facebook post they traveled to Srinagar and held me, held Ruban and it was because of all their efforts.
The last journey of Ruban from Battlefield to PCR to Graveyard was not that easy. Handling thousands of mourners on the way, handling them, fulfilling everyone’s wish and taking care of our family in the hour of distress, all of this needed such brave hearts. In my family I was the only member who was with him from PCR to Srinagar as others were busy with other arrangements.
On the further note, I was called by a top Army cop in October 2018 and because of a fear of getting killed I asked a friend of mine to accompany me, as the discussion begins he accepted that Armed Resistance but he was right when he asked about the war tacts, Training, Arms and ammunition. He asked me to ask Ruban to surrender to which I replied that it was army with support of JKP who forced him to choose the path on which he is. I discussed the incident which became the turning point for Ruban when Guns were slung on his shoulders and pictures taken.
On the other hand, the cops made a good point that yes it was a mistake and the reason that the concerned army camp don’t want him to surrender is that may be post his surrender Ruban may talk more such things by which they can be brought to book.
I met Ruban post that discussed it but he was satisfied with his decision and still asked me to give some time. On the same meeting Ruban discussed how he became a rebel.
That day Ruban told me the reason of slinging those guns and taking photographs was just for one reason, that is they were planing a fake encounter and would blame Naveed Bahe (Our elder cousin and fighter) , that was the only reason of taking my photographs, which many in top brass of policing had too accepted.
Before 2 months when he visited Home he had asked me the day I achieve Martyrdom ask the people to forgive me if I have ever hurt any of them, Burry me next to Farooq Hurra (His friend a HM Commander), before taking me home, take me to uncles home, call my friends from Gabarpora, Keegam, Tukroo, Srinagar call the families of my Millitant brothers and that day he also promised that he will meet me in summer again.
Whatever he wished me to do for him I did everything now am waiting for his promise, spring has come I am waiting for him, as they say Martyrs never die.
His few important memories that I would like my His few important memories that I would like my readers to know RUBAN was with me on 10 July, he was searching something and went through a new Nike shoes, he asked me to order this and stated that he needed it in one week. I did the same but to my misfortune Ruban left for woods on 18th July and shoes came on 19th.
Few days back before we lost him, Ruban came to home and asked me to get a new phone, a foreign brand and I asked him that it will take time to which he replied do it as soon as possible . I ordered a phone and it reached on Sunday,I went to home and asked mom to give it to Ruban once he came but on Monday late in the evening he achieved Martyrdom and will never come to take the Phone.
His cricket kit, books on computer world, love for fashionable shoes will always haunt me whenever I dare to open his room. I am in a billion tears, pray for my solace, nothing more to write, nothing more to say, I along with family stand shattered.
Lastly Ruban was no fanatic, no extremist who would feel thirsty for human blood, he would gift his own things to people without asking their religion. This tyrant state should search it’s ethos and ask a question what made a humanist like Ruban lto take path of arms.
To his friends.
I am sorry on behalf of him, Forgive him if he has ever shouted upon you, Forgive him if he has ever hurt you. Forgive him and pray for his eternal peace.
Really some wounds don’t heal.
#Kashmir #BROTHERHOOD #Resistance #Guns #Rebels #Occupation