The Kashmir Stories on Twitter are showcasing stories from the occupation to educate about its heinous & depraved character. They told the story today of a young mother named Saleema whose 17-year-old son Osaib Altaf Marazi was the first casualty of the August 5th, 2019 lockdown of Kashmir. She remains in a deep depression & silence grieving his loss. But her grief has been compounded by the trauma of how her son died & the fact that Indian authorities & the J&K police denied his death & would not issue a death certificate for four months. Whilst grieving, his family had to wrangle with the police & the courts for a death certificate. Despite the presence of one-million Indian troops enforcing the lockdown, thousands attended his funeral prayers. His grandmother Noora Begum said, “My Osaib was a budding flower. By shamelessly denying his death, is the government trying to say that he never lived? That he was never born?”
Osaib was a kid who loved to travel, to take selfies, & to play cricket. On the morning of August 5th, the day India abrogated Kashmir’s special status, he went with his friends to a field nearby his home to play cricket in the town of Palpora on the outskirts of Srinagar. Since the family does not have a TV & mobile, landline & internet services were shut down, they didn’t know about the lockdown or that Indian paramilitary troops were setting up roadblocks & checkpoints to enforce it.
At the cricket field, the boys were surrounded by CRPF paramilitary forces who began chasing them off the field. As they came to a footbridge over a river, CRPF troops coming from both sides of the bridge cornered them & in fear for their lives the boys jumped into the river. Young Osaib couldn’t swim & remained in the water holding on to something for at least twenty-minutes. The other boys who were present told the family that one of the CRPF guys hit his head & hands with a truncheon & he slipped into the water & drowned. That isn’t just a drowning. It’s murder.
For months, Indian authorities denied there were any casualties from the lockdown but Osaib & the grief of his entire family speak to the utter barbarity of the occupation of Kashmir. May our young brother Rest In Peace.
Video interview with Osaib’s father Mohammad Altaf Marazi on the death of his son:
(Photo of Osaib Altaf Marazi by Safwat Zargar)