Terror attack snatches poor family’s sole bread earner

Wailing family members and blind brother of deceased Deepu in their house at Majalta in Udhampur.
Wailing family members and blind brother of deceased Deepu in their house at Majalta in Udhampur.

Nishikant Khajuria

JAMMU, May 30: 27-year old Deepu Kumar, who was shot dead by Pakistan sponsored terrorists in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, was sole bread earner for his family consisting of pregnant wife, blind elder brother and ailing father living in a mud house at remote village Thial in Majalta tehsil of Udhampur district.

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The deceased was working at a circus that was presently camping in Anantnag’s Janglat Mandi area, where he was gunned down by Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists when he had gone to the market to buy milk around 8.30 pm yesterday.
Deepu was in Kashmir over the past six years and had been moving from place to place with his circus. About two years ago, he married Gudya, who also works in the same circus and the couple was expecting their first child around June 15.
This afternoon when body of the deceased was brought to his native village Thial, about 60 kms from Udhampur district headquarters, a pall of gloom descended over the entire hamlet amid heart wrenching screams of the bereaved family that lost its only earning hand.
Amid anti-Pakistan sloganeering, a large number of villagers and people from adjoining areas turned up to receive body of Deepu Kumar. Everyone was virtually in tears hearing the wails of the bereaved family members.
“What was his fault? He was there only to earn a livelihood for the family,” asked Deepu’s father, who was devastated after hearing the news of his son’s killing.
Deepu was the only earning hand in the family comprising his ailing father Mashu Ram, blind brother Raju and his wife, and their two minor children. His mother had died sometime ago, elder brother Raju lost his eyesight about four years back while his father is ailing and hearing impaired.
The family had moved to this remote village from Billawar in Kathua district over a decade back. Since then, they are living here in a mud-house on a hill slope and their sole possessions are three goats, said a local while urging the Government to provide immediate and adequate financial help to the family.
According to Raju, they talked to Deepu just before he was killed. “He had to transfer some money today to meet the family’s medical expenses, but this morning we came to know about his killing,” he said in a despair and added that there was no one to take care of the family now as he was blind while their father was also ailing.
Inconsolable Gudya, wife of the deceased, said that Deepu left to bring water and milk from a nearby shop when they were preparing to have dinner. “Soon we heard sounds of gunshots and when we rushed outside the camp, he (Deepu) was found there lying on ground in a pool of blood,” she said in a sobbing voice.
Several BJP activists, led by J&K Vice-President Pawan Khajuria and former MLA Ramnagar, R S Pathania visited the family and assured all possible assistance.
Later, body of Deepu Kumar was cremated in a nearby cremation ground. The pyre was lit by the deceased’s nephew amid last rite rituals and presence of a large number of people, including J&K BJP President Ravinder Raina, who termed the killing as unfortunate and shocking.
“Perpetrators of the gruesome crime have done a great injustice to the poor family. What was his crime for which he was brutally killed?” An innocent blood was shed and those who have done this have committed a sin,” said Raina.