Justice eludes parents in IIOJK

Srinagar, June 02 (KMS): Coinciding Global Day of Parents falling on June 01, Farida Qayoom, a mother in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) remembers her son, who was killed by police in custody in 2010.
Living in a modest house on the northern side of the capital Srinagar along with her husband and three daughters, she said that her only son Umar Qayoom was thrashed and tortured by Indian police leading to his death.
For now, the Qayoom family has been waiting for justice over the past 11 years. It took them seven years to get a formal complaint registered against the police personnel for the torturous killing. But the trial in the case is yet to begin.
“I am waiting for justice in my son’s case and I hope someday it will be delivered to us,” Farida said.
Two years after Umar’s brutal killing a one-man inquiry commission led by a retired judge Makhan Lal Koul concluded that he had died out of torture in police custody. The retired judge recommended the filing of the case against police officers.
Although the case was filed in 2017, there is no headway to proceed against the culprits.
“He was an obedient son with big dreams. But all that has gone with him,” said Farida. Pointing out towards a graveyard from her kitchen window, she said her son is lying there near a Sufi saint’s shrine.
“It was Friday, August 20, 2010, and during the month of Ramadan, my son had gone to offer prayers. But before he could return home, there was tear gas shelling and gunfire by security forces near our home. I was praying for the safety of my son. But prayers went in vain,” she said.
Soon the family was told that Umar has been detained. Abdul Qayoom Bhat, the father of the teenager rushed to the local police station to see his son.
“He was assaulted. Blood was seeping from his body. I cried and pleaded before the police officials but they did not listen. They threatened to put me also behind the bars,” he recalled.
Umar was released after some time, but he was bruised. In a week, despite care, he succumbed to his injuries. It was diagnosed that his vital organs had been damaged during police custody, said Umar’s father.
A 2018 report by the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society — a human rights group operating in the region — stated that around 318 children in the age group 1-17 were killed from 2003-2017.

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