Srinagar remembers 12th class student Tufail Mattoo who was killed 10 years ago

DND Thought CenterSrinagar remembers 12th class student Tufail Mattoo who was killed 10 years...

Monitoring Desk: Ten years is a long time for the family of deceased Tufail Mattoo to find the answer what was the crime of their son who was a 12th class student in Little Angels School Rajbagh Srinagar who was killed by Srinagar Police?

In the last 10 years, Infants are born, children grow up to become adults, people die, saplings become trees; too much can change at that time. For many parents, their high school children go on to become artists, doctors, engineers, officers in the last 10 years but for the father of Tufail, the time stops at the grave of his son.

Mohammad Ashraf Mattoo spends his life running his small handicrafts business, visiting the grave of his son Tufail Mattoo, and appearing in session courts compound to fight the case to get an answer to why his son was cold-bloodily killed by occupying forces?

Even after 10 years Srinagar remembers 17 year-old Tufail Mattoo as painful memories linger and uprising is ongoing
Even after 10 years, Srinagar remembers 17-year-old Tufail Mattoo as painful memories linger and uprising is ongoing

Muhammad Ashraf for the last decade lamenting, crying, and fighting for justice within a judicial system that has nearly always taken the side of the state-run terrorism, reports The Kashmir Reader newspaper.

In Kashmir, Tufail Mattoo’s name is synonymous with the bloody summer of 2010.

The unarmed resistance of Kashmiris in Indian Occupied Kashmir scaled a new high, with protests that erupted after the murder of the 17-year-old Tufail who was hit by a teargas shell fired at him from close range by the J&K police on June 11, 2010, near Gani Memorial Stadium –about 8 km from his home in Saidakadal.

Tufail was preparing for a medical entrance test and had gone to attend his tuition class, reported Kashmir Media Service.

Witnesses in the locality said the police chased Tufail when they saw him. As he began to run, the police fired a teargas shell hitting him in the head and killing him instantly. The autopsy of Tufail also confirmed that he was killed by a teargas shell which damaged his brain and skull, busting police claims that it was a case of “mysterious death”.

Tufail’s murder led to widespread protests triggering a long anti-India summer uprising, during which men in uniform killed 120 people, mostly youth.

Tufail’s killing by government forces, in a way, was a paradigm shift in seeing a new generation of Kashmir at war with the state and the idea of India in Kashmir. And the government at war with a new generation. A new generation that has new vocabulary, that way it was pretty significant in the Kashmir narrative.

“When 120 youth were killed after my son’s killing, the parents of those youth decided not to fight the case because they were aware that they will not get justice from the government. I decided to fight the case as I was believing and a staunch supporter of democracy…Today when they meet me, I tell them that your decision of not fighting the case was right…”, says Ashraf Mattoo.

It was Martin Luther King Jr who asserted “Justice delayed is justice denied”. For the thousands of Ashraf’s in Kashmir valley, the irrelevance of such a justice system demolishes the tall claims of democracy and justice by the killers of Tufail…

“It is saddening to notice on this platform that whenever a Kashmiri speaks there is no tolerance, little patience to hear a point of view without being worked up, no understanding, and lack of empathy and respect.

Today in India a pregnant woman is in jail, denied bail; a Kashmiri woman denied bail even after testing positive for Coronavirus; 13,000 Kashmiris in jail since August of last year; all rights to speech, media freedom, right to live and dignity snatched; and then you become sermonisers and sell rotten democracy to us.

There should have been unqualified and unconditional apologies if you were peaceniks in the real sense, but there is the arrogance of power on display,” commented journalist and political observer Gowhar Gillani.

Amnesty International has been demanding that Tufail murder case should be reinvestigated but nothing has been done so far and his family and friends are losing all hopes.

This is a universal truth that when someone lost trust in the system to get justice from occupying forces, then he tries to take justice with a personal force that ignites more fire in uprising to get freedom from occupying forces—-this is what Indian Occupied Kashmir is facing today.

Central Desk
Central Desk
Agha Iqrar Haroon is a Pakistani research journalist and political analyst. founder of Dispatch News Desk and author of a book “How does Superclass Rule Nations? —A Case Study from Pakistan”.

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