Basit Ahmad Ahangar – the 71st civilian casualty in the ongoing Kashmir unrest – was a 19-year-old sporting star from Veesu in Anantnag who recently cleared his Class 12 exam.
For his friends, however, Basit was a humble and fun-loving guy. “Basit always wanted everyone around him to be happy. He could not see anyone sad. He spoke in an accent that made normal things sound funny,” said Tufail Bhat, a childhood friend.
“He was also a very good football player, a star in his locality. He wanted to go to Delhi for higher studies. He wanted to enjoy life,” he added.
Another friend, Hadif Nisar, described Basit as a guy “loved by all”.
“The place where he was shot was a spot where we used to sit for regular chats. I could have been in his place, I could have been dead,” he added.
His friends say Basit was “not a stone-pelter” but was caught in a clash between protesters and security forces in the area.
Like many other civilian deaths in the ongoing turmoil, Basit’s death, too, would remain shrouded in mystery. Doctors have said that he was brought dead to the district hospital in Anantnag with multiple pellet injuries.
He had pellet marks in his leg but what made family ask questions was a wound on his head, described by doctors as an injury “caused by some blunt object”.
Eye-witnesses and relatives said Basit was returning home after the clashes when he fell victim to pellet guns. “Forces spotted him and shot pellets at his legs. When he fell on the ground, they threw him into a 15-20 feet deep concrete pit because of which he received a wound on his head,” said a friend.
When HT inquired about the incident at the local police station in Kulgam, an officer said that clashes were on when the incident occurred.
“Forces had fired tears-gas shells and Basit fell down in the chaos while trying to escape. His head hit a rock or stone,” he said.