Ground Report | New Delhi: Rafiya Nazir passed the class 12 board exams with very high scores last month. Her family remembers her as a sharp, sensitive and bright girl who aspired to be a doctor.
Rafiya, a resident of Check Sadrabal village in Hazratbal, was scheduled to visit her uncle in Bemina, who had invited them to spend the night. They stopped to buy fruit at a busy market on the Amira Kadal bridge when, within minutes, a grenade explosion rocked the market, causing chaos and forcing people to run for their lives.
On Sunday, March 6, Rafiya, along with her mother and sister, were busy shopping when militants threw a grenade at Amira Kadal, seriously injuring Rafiya along with 34 others.
“I was holding a bag of bananas. My daughters were standing near me when the blast shook the ground under our feet,” her mother Hameeda Nazir told Aljazeera. “Everything became dark for a moment, there was dust all around. Scared people were running for safety.”
“I have four children. My eldest daughter had to drop out of school because we couldn’t pay for her education. Both of our children work as farmhands. Rafiya was the bright one. We all had our hopes pinned on her. I wish I had died instead of her” Hameeda said.
Her cousin Ameena said that she was the pride of the family for receiving so many grades that no other girl in the area had.
“This positive side saw that Nazir believed in her to turn her dream of having a doctor daughter,” said her cousin as a blanket of sadness descended throughout the Check Saderbal area, where tears welled up from the eyes of all residents.
“She died very early, and his death has left the entire family devastated. His death has also taken away our long dreams”, “We were hopeful that one day his hard work and brilliance will change the fate of his poverty-stricken family”, Ameena said.
She added that Rafiya’s father is a heart patient while her mother is diabetic. “Since the death of her young daughter has left the family devastated, the government should come forward and give them some help.”
“She was preparing for the NEET exam and attending her classes. On Sunday, she did not go to her classes and was excited to visit the house of her uncle who had invited us all to spend the night,” said Rafiya’s sister. (Rafiya Nazir)
Despite scoring 94 per cent in the science branch of the recently declared Class 12 exams, Rafiya found it difficult to get private counselling for the NEET exam as the family could not afford the costs due to poverty: her father is a rug weaver who earns 250 rupees. -350 a day, the family said. A private school in the city agreed to admit her for half the tuition in instalments.
Just last month, Rafiya had passed her Class XII exam, scoring an impressive 94 per cent in the science stream.
“She studied in an ordinary school. We had no money for her studies. But she was always willing to compromise. She studied at night. So she would make her a warm bed so she doesn’t feel cold,” Hameeda said. “She Now she is alone in a cold grave.”
J&K Deputy Governor Manoj Sinha, while reacting to the grenade incident, tweeted: “I strongly condemn the terrorist attack in Srinagar. My deepest condolences to the family of the innocent civilians martyred and I wish a speedy recovery to those injured. We are firmly determined to dismantle the terrorist ecosystem and defeat the terrorist threat that continues to be perpetrated by the neighbouring country.
The civilian deaths also drew condemnation from several political leaders, including former chief ministers: Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. They have demanded that those involved in the attack be held accountable and brought to justice.
SSP Srinagar Rakesh Balwal said that CCTV footage and other high-tech methods helped to solve the case of Amira Kadal terror attack. The SSP has asked business establishments in Srinagar to install CCTV cameras outside and inside their shops as soon as possible.