Kulgam: Slain 19-year-old Lashkar-e-Toiba(LeT) militant Yawar Bashir from Hablish, Kulgam, had never participated in pro-freedom protests, nor given any reason to suggest that he would pick up the gun, his family said.
Yawar was killed late Monday evening along with two Pakistani militants in Bhadragund village of Qazigund in Anantnag district.
The militants were cornered minutes after they attacked an army convoy. They took shelter in a building and were killed in a gunfight during which government forces completely blasted the house.
Yawar’s family remembers him as a pious soul, very particular about his prayers and his Hafiza, the memorising of the Holy Quran.
“Even at the peak of the uprising after Burhan Wani’s killing, Yawar took no part in any protest demonstration. In those months, he led prayers at our local mosque,” Yawar’s elder brother, Abid Bashir, told Kashmir Reader.
Abid said that his brother, after passing Class 10 exams in 2012, joined the Dar-ul-Uloom Bilaliya in Srinagar. By December 2016, he had memorised 28 chapters of the holy Book.
“Then he insisted that he will memorise the rest of the Quran in Anantnag. I got him admitted at a local seminary, so that he could stay closer to home,” Abid said.
The family had a shock when they received a diary from Yawar in February this year. In it he had written a detailed account of what he wanted in life, along with instructions for his family.
In the diary, Yawar informed his family that he wanted to die a martyr and had chosen the militant’s path.
“He wanted me to lead his funeral prayers and wanted us to clear his debts, if any,” Abid said, adding that the diary was taken away by the police.
Days after the family received the diary, they heard news of a rifle-snatching incident at Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar on February 4. Later there came confirmation from police that it was Yawar who had snatched the rifle.
Yawar’s father, Bashir Ahmad, who works in the forest department, says he tried his level best to bring his son back, but failed.
“He had made up his mind and he blocked any attempt by us to bring him back,” Bashir said.
The youngest among five siblings, Yawar lost his mother when he was only 17 months old.
His life, his family said, was entirely dedicated to Islam. He always desisted from indulging in “worldly” talk.
“I was very close to him and sometimes I talked to him about buying a car or purchasing something of comfort. He always responded to such talk with a sermon about how each one of us has to die ultimately,” Abid said.
Yawar was like that since he was very young, Abid said.
“He was a sharp, bright child but unlike people his age, he was never into electronic gadgets or fashion or for that matter any other thing that lures the youngsters of today,” Abid said.
He said that Yawar was very keen to finish his Hafiz-e-Quran course after he passed Class 10.
During his ten months as an active militant, Yawar, as per his family, visited home only twice: once on Eid-ul-Azha this year, and then about 15 days ago.
The only thing he did during the meetings with the family was to ask their forgiveness.
“He wanted us to forgive him for not paying heed to our requests to come back. He was adamant that he did not want to be a murtad (apostate) by shunning the path he had chosen. But he also understood the importance of family,” Abid said. “We were never upset with him,” he added.