SRINAGAR, June 17: In a tragic coincidence, one-year-old Daamin and four-year-old Uhbaan lost their father, Jammu and Kashmir Police officer Arshad Ahmed Khan, on a Father’s Day.
As the body of Khan, who breathed his last at AIIMS in Delhi on Sunday evening, was brought to the police lines here today, Uhbaan was unable to gauge the tragedy.
Held by his maternal uncle at the wreath-laying ceremony, Uhbaan, too young to understand the magnitude of the tragedy that has befallen on him, woke from a slumber with the bugler playing the ‘last post’ and guard calling for ‘shok salami shastra’ (reversing of arms in honour of fallen soldiers).
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The police band was playing ‘Wattan ki raah mein wattan ke naujaan shaheed ho (many youths have sacrificed their lives for nation)’, a song from ‘Shaheed’, the 1948 movie starring Dilip Kumar.
His brother Daamin, who is just 18-month old, was at home and he had to play the role of an elder son at this tender age.
He was carried by a police officer near the coffin of his father where he placed flowers.
Uhbaan also gave the last salute to his father before he was taken to his home in the civil lines area near Karan Nagar.
K Vijay Kumar, Advisor to the Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh, Additional Director General of Police B Srinivas and Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) Swayam Prakash Pani were the pallbearers.
Hundreds of people gathered at Khan’s house to have a last glance of the fallen police officer.
Daamin could be seen looking into eyes of the mourners and often greeted the known faces with smiles.
Born to Mushtaq Ahmad Khan and Mehbooba Begum in Balgardan Srinagar, Khan was appointed as Sub-Inspector in Jammu and Kashmir Police in 2002 and served in various important capacities.
During the 2016 agitation following the death of Burhan Wani, the poster boy of Hizbul Mujahideen, Khan, who was then posted as Station House Officer of Bijbehara, single-handedly cleared the highway and ensured that there was no traffic restriction.
Khan, whose ancestors were from Peshawar in Pakistan, never succumbed to political pressure and was shifted from Bijbehara after he had rounded off many so-called activists of a political party.
Khan had suffered injuries in last Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Anantnag in which five CRPF personnel were martyred by a lone Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist, who targeted a patrol team of the paramilitary force.
Known for his professional brilliance, Khan’s popularity could be gauged from the fact that locals from his area of posting had gathered to enquire about his health.
People at Chadoora in central Kashmir, where he was earlier posted as Station House Officer, had offered prayers and sacrificed goats for his early recovery.
Khan, who was posted in the volatile south Kashmir for some years now, “was a brilliant operational officer”, recalled one of his senior officers. (PTI)