From the last few decades identity card has occupied a central importance in Kashmir. Our first reaction on noticing a cop is to confirm about the availability of our identity card. If we are going out without identity card we are committing a severe crime. Absence of identity cards can lead us to fateful results.
And if you are carrying your identity card with you than you are liable to further questions, if you aren’t you are liable to stern punishments.
Few months before in the blazing heat, I along with my friend decided to visit the orchads as usual, we used to vicinity of our area—Pulwama (The versatile District these days).
Since the intensity of heat was extreme so we put off our clothes (jeans) at home and wore trousers. We reached the spot and relaxed in the blowing winds. The greenery around fortified us, the trees around added to our euphoria. We felt the joy of ecstasy we were about to enjoy the slumber suddenly our alluring environment was transformed into a nightmare by a fast moving vehicle (Tavera) which stopped in front and in no time all the windows opened, the silence of ecstasy was spoiled by the gun cocking.
The stunning environment was changed into a stygian one, gloominess riffed over us and we could hardly see anything.
A fury group of army men cordoned us and it was the only thing visible to our eyes. Our mouth dried up, the saliva of our mouth disappeared, our body shivered, our ability to talk got suspended.
I still remember the ashen face of my friend, my loud heartbeats and panic stricken eyes.
One of them approached us with his gun pointing towards us, “Sir this is our own garden and we are local residents here” I mumbled before he said anything.
He asked for all notorious identity cards, we searched our pockets but we had forgotten it in our jeans we put off at home.
“Sir we have forgotten it at home” uttered my friend in broken syllables.
The flaw was only the absence of our identity card but the punishment was of a heinous crime, he slapped us. Few others came towards us and they too slapped us.
“S***A, hero banta hai, Geelani ka aadmi hai” (Abusing, are you trying to become a hero, are you a Geelani’s man) one of them bragged.
We put our head down.
I was so angry and ashamed of being the resident of this disputed land. They howled many paltry terms but we were dumb for a moment.
After this entire group came close and they too embarrassed by abusing us. We were intimidated and couldn’t utter a word. Then they ordered us to run. I had a glimpse on my friend as if it was our hour of departure. The gasping scene was about to be worst by few gun shots and our death was conspicuous.
I could reckon same was flashing across my friend’s mind. We were feeble, totally decrepit with our eyes spilling.
They again said in an angry tone to run away. With fist clenched, we strode and slithered away.
While we crossed few steps my friend said in a very sober tune said, “Allah Hafiz bhai, pata nahi zindagi rahegi ya nahi” (Goodbye my friend, don’t know whether we will live or not).
I broke down into tears by listening this but asked him let’s try our best. We ran fast for about 10 minutes and when we looked behind there was no one. They had left. We stopped and fell into tears again.
My friend hugged me tightly and said that life has been gifted again to us.
This incident is still unabated in my mind. It makes me disgruntled and mortified. Whenever, I see any cop the chip on my shoulder gets recapitulated and I feel intimidated and totally obliterated.
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