Fear, melancholy in Kathua girl’s village

‘Bakerwal dog can protect us from wild animals, but not savages’

UMER MAQBOOL / YOGESH SAGOTRA
Kootah (Hira Nagar, Kathua), Publish Date: Apr 16 2018 11:52PM | Updated Date: Apr 16 2018 11:52PM
Fear, melancholy in Kathua girl’s villageKathua child''s worn-out football lying in the courtyard of her home in Kootah. Photo: Mir Imran/GK

The locked home of the child who was raped and murdered in Kathua earlier this year is a haunting site without a sign of life.  

A worn-out football lay in the silent courtyard of her father, Muhammad YusoufPujwal’s house here. The 8-year-old girl who played with this football is resting in her grave a few kilometers away from Kootah, after locals denied her burial in her family graveyard in the village. 

An amulet, put up perhaps for the safety of the house, is hanging from the lock on main door of the three-room concrete structure where the nomad herdsman family lives during winters.

Lying in the courtyard is also a handwritten invitation card sent to Pujwal by AkhreyLewal of neighbouringPatta village for his son Liyaqat Ali’s wedding.

Pujwal was expected to attend the wedding on January 14 and 15 when he must have been running around worried sick, looking for his missing daughter. 

No one could be seen around Pujwal’s house in the village where a few Bakerwal families also live amid hundreds of Hindu families. The nearest neighbouringBakerwal family, that of Mohammad Jan, a relative of Pujwal lives 1.5 kilometres away. 

Jan’s house is guarded by a dog who barks at the sight of a stranger coming close to it. 

One has to request the inhabitants to tie the dog up before going inside the subdued house. 

“My sons have already left the village. They left early this year because we feared that they will be implicated in fake cases. We are being treated here as worse than animals,” says Jan, whose family settled in this village 40 years ago.

Jan is unable to comprehend why the child from his clan was so brutally treated and murdered. They have been living in extreme fear since January when the child was done away with. 

“We are just seven families of Bakerwals here. How can we be a threat to thousands of people living here?” Jan exclaims, sitting on charpoy among his grandchildren.

“They are raising slogans against us and telling us that ‘we will throw you out’ from here. We feel very insecure here. The local Sarpanch is at the forefront of the protests against us,” Jan said. 

“This dog can protect us from wild animals but who will protect us from the savages who did not spare even a child,” Jan said pointing towards the canine guarding his home. 

Jan has no idea about the widespread outrage generated over the horrific incident, but he is worried about his safety. 

“What is crime branch? What is CPI (CBI)?” he says apparently referring to the demand of Hindu EktaManch, an outfit formed by a local BJP leader demanding the case be taken away from the state police Crime Branch and handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

From the 7-year-old Saiful to the 35-year-old Sheen, Jan’s family remembers the murdered child with fondness wrapped in sorrow.

“She used to visit our house whenever she had some work,” says Sheena.

Saifull says he used to play with the girl whenever she brought horses to the nearby pond for drinking water.

“She has not come to the pond for a long time, she has been killed,” the 7-year-old said.

Latest News

  1. Forces launch searches in Nathipora Sopore
  2. Forces launch searches in Nathipora Sopore
  1. ‘Sit in temples like offering Namaz,’ says UP CM Yogi ahead of Priyanka’s Ayodhya tour
  2. ‘Sit in temples like offering Namaz,’ says UP CM Yogi ahead of Priyanka’s Ayodhya tour
  1. BSP state general secretary, 16 others join Congress in Jammu
  2. BSP state general secretary, 16 others join Congress in Jammu
  1. General Election 2019: ECI provides postal ballot facility to Kashmiri migrants
  2. General Election 2019: ECI provides postal ballot facility to Kashmiri migrants
  1. Cong releases video of 'BJP leader' exchanging money after note ban, Jaitley says fake sting
  2. Cong releases video of 'BJP leader' exchanging money after note ban, Jaitley says fake sting
  1. Omar Abdullah visits Hajin, says slain minor’s family struggling
  2. Omar Abdullah visits Hajin, says slain minor’s family struggling
  1. NC working hard for return of peace, 'our workers real mujahideen': Sagar
  2. NC working hard for return of peace, 'our workers real mujahideen': Sagar
  1. PDP offers legal assistance to JKLF, JeI to fight ban
  2. PDP offers legal assistance to JKLF, JeI to fight ban
  1. Pak places two Hindu girls in protection after alleged forced conversion
  2. Pak places two Hindu girls in protection after alleged forced conversion
  1. China destroys maps showing Arunachal as India's
  2. China destroys maps showing Arunachal as India's
  1. Modi creating two 'Hindustans' in India: Rahul
  2. Modi creating two 'Hindustans' in India: Rahul
  1. Imran Khan says Indo-Pak relations to remain tense till elections in India
  2. Imran Khan says Indo-Pak relations to remain tense till elections in India
  1. PDP’s Agha Mohsin files nomination for Srinagar Lok Sabha seat
  2. PDP’s Agha Mohsin files nomination for Srinagar Lok Sabha seat
  1. Forces launch searches in north Kashmir's Sopore
  2. Forces launch searches in north Kashmir's Sopore
  1. Bodies of drowned siblings fished out from nallah in north Kashmir
  2. Bodies of drowned siblings fished out from nallah in north Kashmir
  1. Strong banking sector indispensable for maintaining momentum of economic growth: J&K Bank chairman
  2. Strong banking sector indispensable for maintaining momentum of economic growth: J&K Bank chairman
  1. Peoples Conference leader Irfan Ansari files nomination papers from Srinagar
  2. Peoples Conference leader Irfan Ansari files nomination papers from Srinagar
  1. Former Joint Commissioner Kaneez Fatima joins NC
  2. Former Joint Commissioner Kaneez Fatima joins NC
  1. J&K Tourism, J&K Hoteliers Club organise Kashmir conclave in Mumbai to woo tourists
  2. J&K Tourism, J&K Hoteliers Club organise Kashmir conclave in Mumbai to woo tourists
  1. India, Pakistan armies trade heavy fire along LoC in Rajouri
  2. India, Pakistan armies trade heavy fire along LoC in Rajouri
  1. UP govt suspends eight school teachers for social media posts over Pulwama attack, Balakot strike
  2. UP govt suspends eight school teachers for social media posts over Pulwama attack, Balakot strike
  1. Opening Sharda Peeth welcome step, hope Pak opens more routes: Omar Abdullah
  2. Opening Sharda Peeth welcome step, hope Pak opens more routes: Omar Abdullah
  1. Several youth detained during nocturnal raids in Sopore
  2. Several youth detained during nocturnal raids in Sopore
x
This site uses cookies to deliver our services and to show you relevant news and ads. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Service.That's Fine