Her mother Maysara Bano (22) was killed when government forces allegedly fired bullets at her near her house in Unisoo village of Kupwara district last Monday.
A dejected Ishfaq Ahmad, Maryam’s father, says: “I wish the government forces had killed me instead of Maryam’s mother. My baby needs her mother.”
A narrow, muddy, road towards the family’s house wears a deserted look as if the tragedy has struck the poor family only hours ago. Devastated by the tragedy, the bereaved family members do not want to face the camera or even speak.
However when this reporter insisted, Ishfaq broke down and said in a muzzled voice, “On that rainy night, the government forces brought us out and asked us to stay in the yard of house. While the exchange of firing with militants was going on intermittently, I had put my hand on Mysara’s shoulders and the baby rested in her mother’s lap. Suddenly a soldier among dozens engaged in that gunfight shot her in head.”
“Hell broke loose on me. As it was dark, I could see a flash of flame generated by the gunshot. She fell on the ground and the baby too. She was dead in just a few seconds. However I somehow lifted the baby and later held Mysara in my lap with blood oozing from her head till the gunfight ended in the wee hours,” he added.
The family struggling to come to terms with the tragedy does not want compensation. “The only compensation I want is that the guilty soldier who shot dead the mother of seven-month old baby must be hanged or sentenced to life. No amount of solace or cash compensation can bring back or equate the affection of a mother for her little baby,” Ishfaq said.