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'She Wanted to Become a Doctor', 18-Year-Old Rafia's Promising Life Cut Short

A pall of gloom descended on Saderbal, Hazratbal in Srinagar, where the last rites of the young girl were held.

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Not even a month before, she had secured 94 percent marks in Class 12 board exams, but on Monday, 7 March, she became the victim of a grenade attack in Srinagar.

The festive scene at her residence followed by her recent success in board exams did not last long as 18-year-old Rafia Nazir died in a grenade attack in city centre Amira Kadal where shoppers had thronged the Sunday market.

On Sunday evening, 6 March, 18-year-old Rafia, along with her mother and sister, was busy shopping when militants lobbed a grenade in Amira Kadal, leaving Rafia badly injured along with 34 other people. “She was lying injured when some people took her to the hospital. Her eyes were closed, and blood was oozing from her head,” said an eyewitness.

A pall of gloom descended on Saderbal, Hazratbal in Srinagar, where the last rites of the young girl were held.

18-year-old Rafia Nazir died in a grenade attack in city centre Amira Kadal where shoppers had thronged the Sunday market.

(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

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'Her Death Has Also Snatched Our Long Dreams'

Among the 34 injured, a 71-year-old man identified as Mohammad Aslam Makhdoomi of Naidkadal in downtown Srinagar died on the spot.

CCTV footage of the scene of the attack shows the moment the grenade was lobbed. People started running for safety while many fell on the ground.

This was the second grenade attack in Lal Chowk as earlier, on 25 January, four people were injured after militants lobbed a grenade in the area.

All the injured, including Rafia and her family members, were taken to the hospital for treatment. While Rafia was critical, her mother Hameeda and sister Farhad sustained minor injuries.

A pall of gloom descended on Saderbal, Hazratbal in Srinagar, where the last rites of the young girl were held.

On Sunday evening, 6 March, 18-year-old Rafia, along with her mother and sister, were busy shopping when militants lobbed a grenade in Amira Kadal, leaving Rafia badly injured along with 34 other people.

(Photo: Irfan Amin Malik)

According to her family, Rafia had suffered a serious brain injury and was operated on at the SMHS hospital Srinagar. She was battling for life throughout the night, but on Monday morning, 7 March, she succumbed at the hospital and was laid to rest.

A pall of gloom descended on Saderbal, Hazratbal in Srinagar, where the last rites of the young girl were held.

Amid emotional scenes, scores of men and women gathered near her residence and sang dirges. “She died so soon, and her death has left the entire family devastated. Her death has also snatched our long dreams,” Ameena, her cousin, told The Quint.

Ameena remembered Rafia as a bright student who wanted to become a doctor. “We had pinned hopes that one day her hard work and brilliance will change the fate of her poverty-ridden family,” Ameena sighed.

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She added that Rafia’s father is a heart patient while her mother is diabetic. “Since the death of their young daughter has left the family devastated, the government should come forward and provide them some assistance.”

A pall of gloom descended on Saderbal, Hazratbal in Srinagar, where the last rites of the young girl were held.

All the injured, including Rafia and her family members, were taken to the hospital for treatment.

(Photo: Irfan Amin Malik)

On 7 February this year, when Rafia bagged distinction, her jubilant father, Nazir Ahmad Tenda, a carpet weaver, took a loan of Rs 1.5 lakh from the bank and got her admitted in a coaching centre, one of their close relatives recalled. “Her father became so happy when Rafia achieved success with flying colours. Within four weeks, the delighted father’s dreams shattered and he is left distraught.”
A pall of gloom descended on Saderbal, Hazratbal in Srinagar, where the last rites of the young girl were held.

“Her father became so happy when Rafia achieved success with flying colours. Within four weeks the delighted father’s dreams shattered and he is left distraught.”

(Photo: Irfan Amin Malik)

Inside their residence in Saderbal, Hazratbal, an area close to the University of Kashmir, hundreds of mourners were praying for the slain girl and consoling her family members.

One of her close relatives, Aijaz Ahmad, said that Rafia is survived by her parents, two brothers and an elder sister. “We are not able to speak because our wounds are fresh,” he told The Quint.

A pall of gloom descended on Saderbal, Hazratbal in Srinagar, where the last rites of the young girl were held.

One of her close relatives, Aijaz Ahmad, said that Rafia is survived by her parents, two brothers and an elder sister.

(Photo: Irfan Amin Malik)

Thirty-four civilians, including a policeman, were injured when suspected militants lobbed a grenade around 4:20pm on Sunday, 6 March, in the busy Amira Kadal area of Lal Chowk. “The grenade was lobbed at a security forces party which missed the target and exploded near Amira Kadal bridge,” sources said.

The condition of other injured people being treated in different hospitals is stated to be stable.

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No Militant Outfit Has So Far Claimed Responsibility For the Attack

According to media reports, no militant outfit has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place amid intensified anti-militancy operations in the region.

Following the attack, Srinagar police tweeted, “In light of this terrorist act of grenade throwing in the busy Sunday market near Amira Kadal bridge, all civilians are requested to be vigilant and report any suspected activity to thwart the nefarious designs of terrorists.”

Police have also registered cases under relevant sections of law and started investigations.

A pall of gloom descended on Saderbal, Hazratbal in Srinagar, where the last rites of the young girl were held.

Inside their residence in Saderbal, Hazratbal, an area close to the University of Kashmir, hundreds of mourners were praying for the slain girl and consoling her family members.

(Photo: Irfan Amin Malik)

Inspector-General of Police Kashmir Zone, Vijay Kumar, said that they are trying to “smash the module in the shortest possible time”. “We are working hard to identify and to arrest this terror criminal,” the IGP Kashmir was quoted as saying by a local newspaper.
A pall of gloom descended on Saderbal, Hazratbal in Srinagar, where the last rites of the young girl were held.

According to media reports, no militant outfit has so far claimed responsibility for the attack which took place amid intensified anti-militancy operations in the region.

(Photo: Irfan Amin Malik)

J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, while reacting over the grenade incident, tweeted: "I strongly condemn the terror attack at Srinagar. My deepest condolences to the family of the innocent civilians martyred & wish a speedy recovery to the injured. We are firmly resolved to dismantling the terror ecosystem & defeat terror menace that continues to be perpetrated by the neighbouring country."

The civilian deaths also evoked condemnation from various political leaders, including former Chief Ministers—Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. They have demanded that those involved in the attack must be held accountable and brought to justice.

(Irfan Amin Malik is a journalist based in Kashmir. He tweets @irfanaminmalik.)

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Topics:  Kashmir   Srinagar   Grenade Attack 

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