A handsome young man. A dedicated engineering student. An aspiring writer. A professional hiker. A loving son. A doting brother. This is how close friends of Basit Rasool Dar describe him.
Basit, who was in his early twenties, was killed on Wednesday morning in a brief shootout in Bewora village near south Kashmir’s Bijbehara town.
A civil engineering student at the Islamic University of Science and Technology in Awantipora, Dar had joined militant ranks two months ago, according to a police official stationed in south Kashmir.
Dar was operating under the nom de guerre of Sameer. He had been missing from his home for the last two months.
According to Jammu & Kashmir police, Dar was a close aide of Hizbul Mujahideen commander and Burhan Wani’s successor Zakir Moosa, an engineer himself.
“A Painter, Writer and an Explorer”
Basit Rasool Dar aka ‘Engineer Nasit’, the 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen militant who was killed in a gunfight with government forces in south Kashmir on December 14, was a B Tech student before he joined militancy.
This time around last year, he had started blogging basitrasoolsam.wordpress.com as a student where he posted three articles, all before picking up arms. His articles were widely read and even took social media by storm, but only after his death.
His first post published on December 26,2015 was titled Saz Luong (Traditional Kashmiri Sport), a type of hopscotch, “The old memories were flashing in my mind. I found myself lost in old beautiful memories when I also used to play Saz Luong with my sisters and the children from our neighbourhood.”
An Hour At Railway Station, his next blog was posted on February 2, 2016. “It was Monday and I was supposed to take train to Banihal from Bijbehara. People were rushing towards Railway Station. There I saw different things happening. I got delighted to see many things and also I found myself in sorrow sometimes,” he wrote in the long-form article.
But his third blog, posted on June 30, a few weeks before he picked up arms, remained as his final words. Unlike his previous two human interest reads, this one focussed on the Kashmir conflict where the author described the river waters as red.
Yes! This is Kashmir went viral on social media within hours of his killing.
The full-text of Yes! This is Kashmir, goes like this:
“The water is red,” I exclaimed. Is this what they call crystal clear . . . ? I started thinking and got arrested deep within the thoughts. Hey Hey Hey . . . ? These sounds got me out from the jail of thoughts where I was arrested. I rose my head, a man with different clothes from others, with something hanging around his neck and a skullcap made of some metal-like structure, was standing before me having a smooth wooden piece in his hand with red stains on it.
“What are you doing here?” He questioned. I was not able to understand what to say so I remained silent. Again he said but now with different tone, “What are you doing here?” I said, “I am just enjoying the creation of Almighty.” “Show me the identity card”, he asked but with eyes turning red in anger.
I asked myself, “What? For enjoying nature we need an identity card”. “What is identity card?” But there was no response from any part. He then asked me to get up and begin to beat me like I was drum being beaten on someone’s marriage. I started to resist but few more men with same costume came and also started to beat me. “What is my crime?” I started crying. But nobody was listening to me. Few teenage boys started pelting stones on them and I started running for safety. After running some 100 meters I fell down and was unconscious. When I opened my eyes I saw some people of different age groups around me in a room. Then a man came to me and held my hand and enquired, “How are you feeling now?” My back was full of pain and the pain was clearly visible on my face. He then gave me some painkillers followed by salted tea. After an hour or so I was feeling better. Then after some general chit-chat, the question session began. The man said, “Where are you from?” “I am from the country known as Land of Peace. “What is your name?”, the question followed. “My name is Humanity.” Now I asked, “Who were the people that were beating me?” “Men in uniform”, the man replied. Again I questioned, “Why were they beating me?” “They were not beating you they were just relaxing their muscles.” A young boy from the corner with anger in his eyes nearly shouted, “Why is the water of rivers red?” “It is not water, it is the blood of the martyred innocent youths,” the man answered. Then the story from a young lady followed. “This is the place where a person leaves his home for earning but never comes back. The female is never safe anywhere in this part of the world. The youth are being taken away by the men in uniform and most of them are never seen again and the few people that come back are either handicapped or totally paralyzed. You are in a part of the world where your name and the name of your country doesn’t exist. If someone wants to stand up against these forces, he is being languished in the jail.” The tears started rolling down my eyes and I stopped the lady. My heart was beating very fast. There was a question in my mind but I was not able to ask. But this question was pinching me and after some time I overcame my emotions and finally asked the question, “What is this place called as?” “This is called the paradise on earth,” Man replied. What? No, it can’t be true! I began to ask everyone present in the room and everyone answered, “Yes! This is Kashmir.”