A distraught father’s impassioned plea to youngsters: excel in other fields

‘My son never spoke to me about ISIS’

Abid Bashir
Srinagar, Publish Date: Mar 14 2018 12:15AM | Updated Date: Mar 14 2018 12:15AM
A distraught father’s impassioned plea to youngsters: excel in other fieldsFile Photo

Noor-un-Naeem Fazili, the father of Eisa Fazili, the 25-year-old Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen militant shot dead by government forces in Anantnag a day before, can’t seem to forgive himself as yet. Looking back at the time of the political transformation of his son, he feels, in a rather self-reproachful manner, that he missed “two opportunities to read his mind.”

It was in November, 2015, when the actions of paramilitary forces resulted in the death of Gowhar Nazir Dar of Srinagar, that the father saw with concern for the first time the change his son was undergoing. “Eisa came to me and stated, Abu what is the fun of doing B.Tech, this boy was doing B.Tech and yet he was killed. It left me speechless,” said Noor-un-Naeem, a school principal, who in between accepting the condolences of the endless stream of mourners visiting his home in Ahmednagar, Srinagar, spoke to the Greater Kashmir in a quiet manner that betrayed his torment and agony at the loss of his young son.

Yet, the father appeared helpless seeing his son showing frustration at what was going on in Kashmir. In 2016, the bodies of two militants shot dead by government forces in a shootout in Bijbehara, Anantnag, were burned by the forces and all that could be retrieved from the site of the gun battle were charred remains of the deceased. 

“My son had uploaded the pictures of both the militants on his Facebook page. I rang him up and asked him to remove the pictures. It was the first time in my life, Eisa spoke in a harsh tone saying Abu, look at these pictures! Weren’t they humans and somebody’s children?” said the father. Eisa did remove the pictures from his page on his father’s request, but what he couldn’t remove from his mind was the mark it left how even the dead were not shown respect.

The father sees a direct connection between what he calls the desperation of youth and the political problem of Kashmir. “Being a common Kashmiri citizen, I would say, there is an issue since 1947, which is of political nature and we call it Kashmir issue,” he said.

Restless and distraught with anxiety at the path his son had chosen for himself, the father went in search for his son from village to village, hoping to establish a line of communication, but he found no one to help him. And more or less reconciled to the fate that awaited his son, he kept track of social media at home, dreading to hear what eventually came in a phone call from a police station that his son had been killed in Anantnag.

“Eisa was a very hardworking and focussed student. Things changed on August 16 last year, the day he put his mobile phone off. I had never thought that my son would join militancy. He was so obedient that he would always make me feel proud,” said Noor-un Naeem, adding he was all the time aware that his son would be killed.

While he was mourning for his deceased son, he still wanted to send out a message to the friends of his son: “I told them not to leave studies mid-way and lace themselves with degrees in Science and Technology and that they should excel in other fields. I told them if everybody would pick up gun, who would become an engineer, who would become a doctor.” He called the appearance of ISIS flag at his son’s funeral a sign of desperation of the youth of Srinagar, saying, “My son never spoke to me about ISIS.”

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