Fiancee’s murder by fiancé sends shockwaves in Shopian
10,000 people run amok; killer’s house torched, orchards destroyed
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
Informed sources in south
Kashmir told Early Times that dead body of a 21-year-old woman, namely Tawheeda D/o Mohammad Shafi Dar R/o Ahend, Shopian, was spotted and recovered from the ferociously flowing Veshav Nallah at Rishi Nagri, over 3 Km downstream of the famous waterfall of Aharbal, last evening. Tawheeda, who was engaged to her neighbour and old classmate, namely Eetimad Hussain Dar S/o Mohammad Yousuf Dar, was missing from her home since August 17th. Their wedding stood scheduled on August 26th.
On August 18th, Police had filed a missing report on the statement of Tawheeda’s family members which was finally converted into FIR No: 275 of 2012. On the family’s complaint, Police took into custody Tawheeda’s fiancé, Eetimad Hussain Dar, alongwith his father. During sustained questioning, the would-be bridegroom made a chilling revelation that he had taken his fiancée ostensibly on a picnic to Aharbal on August 17th and killed her by pushing her into the ferocious Veshav Nallah near Aharbal bridge when she was standing on a rock, about 600 metres upsteam of the waterfall.
Eetimad disclosed during interrogation that he was not interested in tying the nuptial knot to Tawheeda though they had remained engaged and in a relationship for the last three years. He revealed that in June 2011, he had developed an affair with another girl, namely Raafi of Kamad, Dyalgam (Anantnag) and secretly executed his engagement with her.
As the date of marriage between Tawheeda and Eetimad drew closer, he planned to eliminate her around the festival of Eid on a picnic at Aharbal.
Sources said that Eetimad owned and operated a Tata-407 pick-up and his family had a flourishing fruit business and apple orchards at three villages. He had returned after killing Tawheeda and stayed at his home without disclosing his criminal act to anybody. As he was arrested and spilled the beans during sustained interrogation, he led Police to the spot where some local men from Gujjar community confirmed that Eetimad had brought Tawheeda on a motorcycle and both had enjoyed for a couple of hours near a spot in the jungle, close to Aharbal bridge.
Police launched a search for the dead body and it could not be spotted or recovered for 11 days. Finally, some residents spotted Tawheeda’s blood splattered body close to the river bank near Rishi Nagri and they informed Police. Police rushed to the spot and took the body into custody. It had begun decomposing.
As the body was being carried for post mortem and other medico-legal formalities from Rishi Nagri, Aharbal, to Shopian, thousands of residents from dozens of villages gathered and rushed to Shopian. Eyewitnesses said that over 200 trucks, buses, Tata Sumo vehicles and tractor trolleys carried the outraged residents to Shopian. On a couple of occasions, the crowds threw stones and clashed with Police.
Police sources said that they managed to conduct the post mortem and other medico-legal formalities against heavy odds and late last night the body was carried to Ahend, near Rawalpora and Kachhdora villages, in Zainapora area and handed over to the bereaved family. Emotional scenes marked Tawheeda’s arrival as she returned dead just a week before the scheduled date of her wedding.
Sources said that while Police were grappling with the crowds and managing post mortem at the district headquarters, over 10,000 residents of Ahend, Rawalpora, Kachhdara, Chowdhrigund and other adjoining villages gathered at Ahend. The furious mobs set on fire alleged killer Eetimad Dar’s residential house and its adjoining structures. Thereafter, they trooped to three or four of his orchards and felled about a hundred apple-laden trees. As the father and his son were in Police custody, others of the family had already deserted their village and taken shelter at a relative’s house at Hanjipora.
SP Shopian, Mumtaz Ahmad, admitted that Police could not protect the alleged killer’s house and orchards as it encountered a huge law and order problem at the district headquarters. Still, 30 armed personnel, headed by an Inspector, were deployed for the safety of Eetimad Dar’s family members and relatives at Hanjipora. “Eetimad is in Police custody as Tawheed’s killer. His father has been placed in protective custody”, SP Shopian said.
In the forenoon today, Tawheeda’s funeral took place at Ahend. A middle ranking Police officer said that about 20,000 people participated in the funeral and Namaaz-e-Janazah. They demanded exemplary punishment to the alleged killer.