Kashmir’s Daughter Zohra Waits for Slain Father to Return From Haj

Kashmir’s Daughter Zohra Waits for Slain Father to Return From Haj

India

A few months ago, a picture of a girl crying inconsolably went viral. The girl in the picture was Zohra, an eight-year-old who lost her father in an anti-militancy operation.

Abdul Rashid, Zohra’s father, was a cop with the Jammu and Kashmir Police. Zohra was told that her father had gone for a pilgrimage, and will come back some day. She is still waiting for her father to return with gifts.

(Photo: PTI)
(Photo: PTI)
Zohra, the daughter of Abdul Rashid, mourns as policemen carry his body during the wreath laying ceremony in Srinagar, 28 August 2017. 

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(Photo: <b>The Quint</b>/Vikar Syed)
(Photo: The Quint/Vikar Syed)
Zohra was very close to her father, Abdul Rashid, who died in an anti-militancy operation. 

For Zohra, her father was her world. “Papa was my favourite person because he loved me the most. He got me what I wanted and he did exactly what I would ask him to do,” she said.

The loss of her father was so shocking for Zohra that as a last resort, her family had to tell her that he had left for Haj.

Zohra refused to drink a single drop of water till she saw her father’s face. She asked me several times, “Why is he sleeping?” I told her, “This is how people go for Haj. 
Naseema Akhter, Zohra’s Mother

Many children have lost their parents to the Kashmir conflict. The children are the worst affected in any conflict. Loss becomes a part of life early on.

Naseema Akhter says, “no matter how much you love them, try to compensate for the loss, you cannot. They still recall the father they lost and miss the time when the whole family was complete.”

Producer: Vatsala Singh
Cameraperson & Reporter: Vikar Syed
Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia

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