Muhripora (Islamabad), May 17 2008: When a Barat (marriage party) was returning from the house of Muhammad Akbar Ganai, here at 12 in the night on May 18, 1990, no one would have imagined it would be the last Barat during nighttime in the valley.
Before the outbreak of militancy, there was a tradition of night Barats in the valley, but this fateful night changed the tradition.
As around 100 Baraties left for Lissar village near Kokernag in bus number 1373/JKF, the para military BSF troopers posted in Boniyan tal (near chinar trees) in Hakhoora ordered them to stop and switch off the lights of the bus. Eyewitnesses say that the troops without any reason fired indiscriminately on the Baraties killing one on the spot while injuring several others including the bridegroom, Abdul Rashid.
After that the troopers dragged the bride, Mubeena Akhtar and her maternal aunt, Aamina into the nearby field and gang raped them. They later pumped five bullets into the body of Mubeena, injuring her critically.
Recalling the horrific event, Mubeena’s sister, Shaheen, who was nine then said, “I cannot forget that fateful night and those images continue to haunt me. From that day onwards, my heart beats fast as soon I see any one in the khakis and even I don’t pass by the place where the incident occurred.”
Mubeena’s mother, Taja and father Muhammad Akbar are all praise for their son-in-law, Abdul Rasheed who despite all odds stood beside their daughter.
Though Mubeena and her husband somehow recovered but they have not been able to come out of the trauma.
“For me it was the end of the world and I never wanted to live any more, but my husband always supported me,” Mubeena said with tears rolling down her cheeks. “We are still waiting for the justice, but it seems that there is no hope now,” she added.
Mubeena’s cousin, Riyaz Ahmad Ganai, who too was accompanying the Barat received injuries in his right arm, which latter was amputated. According to the application signed by the then deputy commissioner, Islamabad, he only received an ex-gratia of Rs 5000.
Though a case was registered in the Dooru police station against the accused BSF troopers under FIR. No 53/1990 (under section 302/RPC) and a challan was registered in the District Court, Islamabad, the case was later closed for unknown reasons.
A copy of a police report lying with the family of victim reads that the BSF troopers resorted to unprovoked firing and then sexually assaulted Mubeena and her aunt Amina.
When this correspondent visited the concerned police station to check the details of FIR, the Munshi told that all the records prior to 1994 were damaged in a fire incident.
“We don’t have any record of the FIR,” he said.
GreaterKashmir (May 18, 2008)