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People gathering at the gunfight site in Kapren village of Shopian district in South Kashmir. Photograph by Bhat Burhan

As violence has been looming over people in Kashmir, a month ago 14-year-old boy was shot dead by the government forces during clashes at a gunfight site, like many others in the recent past.

Today, he cleared his class ten exams, reminding everyone how little value life has in Kashmir.

Back then, The Kashmir Walla visited his home, met his family, who were recalling how he wanted to study and do something for his family. All before his life was cut short by bullets.

Numan Ashraf Bhat, 14-year-old, was a class 10 student, from Balsoo village of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district. On 25 November, he had left his home at dawn with an empty stomach, to see the glimpse of the gunfight site in Kapren, where six militants were believed to be trapped. Like others, he too walked with two of his friends for the village after the news of encounter in the village went around.

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Marksheet of Numan Bhat, who was shot dead on 25 November 2018.

When the bullets were fired at the protestors, Bhat, the eldest son of the family, couldn’t run for long. One of the showering bullets got him in the chest, leaving him dead.

When his mother had seen his perforated body, she wailed, “Oh! my Allah, what did you do to me? Get up Numan, get up!”

Bhat had just finished his practical exams for class 10 a day before.

Mohammad Ashraf Bhat, 50, father of Bhat is a carpenter by profession and had gone out to collect his wages when he had heard about his son’s killing.

Bhat left behind his two siblings, Nadeem (14) and Hammad, 3-months old. While his body was in front of his mother that day, his mother Naza Banu wailed, “Ye kusu zulum khudayoo? (What kind of brutality is this?)”

‘What kind of brutality is this?’ asks mother after teenage son shot dead

Like Bhat, many in Kashmir have been buried in graves with bodies perforated by bullets, pellets or blast shrapnel. With him shot dead a month ago, the 14-yr-old boy today clears his board exams, taking his family back to mourning, which may never end for life.

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