Other States

Handwara loses a promising cricketer in police firing

Nayeem Qadir's mother holds his photo after he was killed in firing at Handwara. Photo: Nissar Ahmad  

A double-storey red concrete Army bunker is smoke-black now. The safety fencing is uprooted. The tricolour from the roundabout in the town is missing after protesters lowered it in anger. Marred by killing of four civilians in the last two days, Kupwara district’s Handwara town in north Kashmir on Thursday remained in lockdown. Internet services are suspended since Wednesday and mediapersons are chased away.

Away from the main square, there is a trickle of visitors in an alley of Banday Mohalla, which once housed deceased Nayeem Qadir Bhat, 19, an ardent cricketer whose humility, patience and cricketing style earned him the sobriquet ‘Gavaskar.’

“I first met him in 2013 during a selection process. In 2014, I picked him up for the Pride Riders team for the Downtown Cricket League as an all-rounder. Nayeem was a purist as a batsman and had all the traits of Virat Kohli. We have lost another Kohli,” Mubbashir Hassan, coach of the Pride Riders says.

A newsman by profession, Nayeem’s brother is in a state of shock. “I was reporting about the wounded protesters when I received a call that my brother had been shot. He was a bystander when the protests broke out,” he says. Nayeem’s uncle alleges there was “disproportionate use of firearms on Tuesday”, which left three people dead. The provocation was alleged molestation of a local girl by an Army man. The girl, however, in a video, released by the Army, said no such incident had taken place. “Security forces, including cops and Army men opened fire. The fact that the bullet hit Nayeem in the face is an indication that firing was aimed to kill and not to quell the protesters,” says Nayeem’s college friend.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 6:07:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/handwara-loses-a-promising-cricketer-in-police-firing/article8477129.ece

Next Story