‘We’re alive today because of our Sikh brothers’: Kashmiri drivers back home from Jammu tell tales of agony and hope

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FPK Photo/Mohammad Aman.
By Zishan Amiri | FREE PRESS KASHMIR |

Amid mob attacks in Jammu recently, scores of Sikh saviours had come riding on Bullet bikes to the rescue of many Kashmiris in Gujjar Nagar. Back home, a few Kashmiri drivers recall the chilling encounters, with a shimmering Sikh hope.

For eight hours straight, Azhar, Mansoor and Nadeem had locked themselves inside a public toilet, from where they witnessed their four-wheelers being shattered into pieces by angry mobs chanting: “Bharat maata ki jai”, “Kashmiriyo ko zinda jalaao”, “Gaddaaro wapas jaao.”

It was the night of February 15, just a day after Jaish-e-Mohammad’s local recruit Aadil Ahmad Dar alias Waqas Commando carried out a deadly suicide attack claiming as many as 49 CRPF personnel in south Kashmir’s Pulwama.

As entire India collectively burnt in rage, Kashmiris outside the valley became soft-targets for what the country called #Revenge.

While “genocide of Kashmiris, war with Pakistan” became one of the most-spoken narratives, there was no hope for the trio – Azhar, Mansoor and Nadeem – other than running for their lives.

It were the Jammu Sardars – who came riding on 20 Bullet bikes on the spot, to rescue the trio from the angry mob that was more than 200 in number, according to Azhar. Earlier Sikh Samaritans of Jammu had thrown open their Gurudwaras and Langars for stranded Kashmiris who came under the attack from the students of Jammu Science College.

This story was published at Free Press Kashmir on 18 Feb 2019. Read the full story here.

 

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