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.