Srinagar, March 06, 2016 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, Lassa Khan, 87, who had carried the heaviest load of his life on the aging shoulders — coffins of four sons, and two nephews killed by Indian armed forces in the past 20 years breathed his last at his house at Sondbarie village of Kokernag in Islamabad. Three of his sons and a nephew were killed by Indian forces on different occasions, while his younger son and another nephew were killed later.
Khan is now survived by wife Nabza, daughter, son in law- and four grand children, who live in a small muddy house. One of his daughters is married in Qazigund. His son in law- Manzoor Ahmad, a labourer by profession is the sole bread earner of the family. Khan passed away yesterday after suffering from protracted illness and was later laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard. Lassa’s elder son Mukhtar Ahmad, 32, was killed in his home by the forces in November 1996. The troops also set ablaze the house and a cowshed.
Lassa’s youngest son Muhammad Abbas, 13, and his nephew Fareed Dar son of Wali Dar, 18, got killed when forces used them as human shield during a gunfight. “It was November 1999 when Abbas and Wali were picked up by the forces while they were attending the marriage ceremony of one of our neighbours. The forces first used them as a human shield during the gun-battle and then pumped numerous bullets into their bodies. Their only sin was that their brothers were militants,” says Nabza Begum, wife of Khan and mother of four deceased sons. Ajaz Ahmad, 25, and his cousin Habibullah Khan son of Subhan Khan, 26, were also killed by the forces.
After losing three sons and two nephews in less than five years, Lassa as well as his wife, Nabza now used to pray for the safety of their only surviving son, Ghulam Hassan, 28, but he too was killed by the forces. Hassan is survived by his wife and two little kids. In April, 2003 while he was returning home from work he was taken away by forces to Hillad village. He was severely tortured and left unconscious in a field. He was hospitalized for three months and while recovering in bed at home, the forces entered into his room and shot him dead,” recollects Nabiza with tears in her eyes.
“Despite all odds, Lassa never felt dejected. He always used to feel proud of being father of four sons who laid their lives for the cause. He stood by me in tough times,” says Nabiza. She said, he used to pray regularly despite being bed ridden and even offered prayers just before he passed away.
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