Sundown stabbing cases might’ve a clear pattern, but the law-enforcers aren’t joining the ‘gang dots’—which, many allege, aren’t anymore an urban myth in Kashmir.
IN ward number 18 of Srinagar’s Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS), a youth lying on a hospital stretcher – bandaged and bloodied – still wonders how he’s alive.
“Miracle it was,” he told Kashmir Observer in a quivering voice. “The attacker looked from a gang the way he stabbed me.”
The injured youth is Najmu Sakib Dar of Chinkral Mohalla Habba Kadal, Srinagar.
He was stabbed with a dragger over a dozen times by another youth inside his home on the evening of 5 April, 2021.
“The attacker ensured that I would be dead,” the knifed person said.
On Monday, Dar was alone at his home when a person known to him allegedly trespassed his house and stabbed him from left, right and centre, in a vengeful huff to settle the “personal grudge”.
Dar was rushed to SMHS by his neighbours after hearing the hue and cry. He’s under medical observation in the hospital and is stable, but unable to move, breathe, and eat properly.
“I’ve received over 60 stitches on my different body parts,” he said. “The dagger was nearer to my lungs. It’s Allah’s mercy that I’m still alive!”
The attack came a week after two persons were stabbed by a group of persons in Babademb locality of Srinagar’s Fateh Kadal on March 28.
The injured were identified as Shafat Ahmad Sofi (35), son of Bashir Ahmad Sofi, a resident of Batamaloo and Danish Nazir, son of Nazir Ahmad, a resident of Bemina.
The condition of both the injured is said to be stable. Similarly, on 12 January this year, the entire city was shocked after a boy was stabbed to death and another was injured near Dastgeer Sahib shrine (RA) at Khanyar area of Srinagar.
The slain was identified as Ziyaan Chisti, son of Mohammed Ashraf Chisti, resident of Rainawari, Srinagar. While the injured accompanying him was identified as Faizan Fida Bhat, son of Fida Ahmad Bhat, a resident of Ellahi Bagh area of Srinagar.
The police investigation in the case revealed that the murder was carried out for the sake of a small amount of money, which the “accused” owed to the slain youth.
Old Srinagar residents allege that a few “gangs” carry out these piercing attacks to settle personal scores.
“Most of the people are druggies and roam around the city in jeep brandishing hockey sticks and sometimes knives,” said Mohammad Irfan, a resident of Khanyar. “None dares to tell them anything.”
These car-borne youth, according to some locals, have become a headache for the society and the authorities have done little to stop them.
“Can you imagine putting a dragger inside the body in an attempt to kill anyone!” said Saleem Khan, a resident of downtown. “I mean how they dare to do it and what kind of mentality it is!”
Behind this growing societal anguish, some youth told Kashmir Observer, are two “gangs” operating in two different parts of the city. One of them, they say, even has a Facebook page.
Police, however, maintain that no such groups or gangs are operating in the city, and that they’ve acted swiftly against the accused involved in different stabbing incidents.
“So far we’ve arrested 10 people facing attempt to murder charges in few cases that occurred this year,” said a top police officer part of the investigation. “A manhunt to nab the accused involved in Habba Kadal stabbing case is currently on.”
The officer admitted to have received reports about some “erring youth who were called and let off after counseling”.
But how do they arrange daggers?
“Many of these youth get these knifes online,” the officer said. “They often use them for stabbing in a fit of rage and anger.”
Ruling out the “gang element” in the city, he said, each incident is different.
“For example,” the police officer explained, “in Ziyaan Chisti case, it was the issue of money. In Babademb stabbing case, the inebriated victims had provoked the locals. And in Habba Kadal case, the accused has some relationship issues with the victim’s family.”
Struggling with pain at SMHS, Dar said his family wasn’t happy with his sister’s four-year-long “abusive engagement” with his assailant.
“He used to threaten us day in and day out for the marriage,” he said. “But since he’s notorious for his wrongdoings, we decided to cancel the engagement and he did this to me!”
Picking holes in the police probe, Dar said his potential killer looked professional who operates within the gang.
“He was trying to cut my veins like a professional killer,” Dar said. “I cried for mercy, but he was ruthless. He stabbed me like a Bollywood villain!”
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