My name is Nasir Shafi; my mother calls me Moomin; I am 11 years old. One evening, I was leaving our local masjid towards my home when I saw hundreds of men in uniform charging towards us; there was utter chaos. I panicked and rushed towards the orchards along with some other boys; the forces chased us all the way. The older boys climbed tree tops; I didn’t know how to climb so I kept running, running for my life; my other fellows managed to take shortcuts to escape into the dense forests while I was left alone with 5 monstrous policemen chasing me about to snuff out my life.


The forest was getting denser and denser; I suffered many bruises due to the harsh thorns. Suddenly, I hit a rock and fell on my knees; I quickly managed to get back on my feet and kept running. I was breathless, I couldn’t run more; it was getting dark too and I am afraid of the dark, “my mum must be waiting for me”; these thoughts kept resonating my mind until all my energy had drained and I slowed down and fell on the ground with a thud. I prayed to Almighty that once, for once these policemen get reminded of their own children at home who could be just my age, waiting for their dads to come home and love them. One of the policemen shouted; asked his fellows to grab me by my neck. All of them beat me; my left arm; they hit it with their plastic canes until it fractured. I tried to move my arms; then they held my hands under their big army boots so I couldn’t move and hit me with the Lathis. I kept thinking of my mother, it was getting dark; my mother must be waiting for her Moomin. I loved it when she called me Moomin. I couldn’t stop thinking of my mother; this eased the pain of my broken arm. My sister, I have promised her that I would become a good doctor and take all of our family to Haj. I kept thinking about my family, it felt like I was dreaming; suddenly, I heard a thunderous sound; I felt like my body was on fire. It felt like a hundred bullets, even more, had pierced me. I could hear my mother saying, “Moomina lagya balai; yemov haa lagawi tche ti pellet” (My lovely Moomin; they hit you with pellets too) “Moomina tche ha osuk myon dunya te aakhirat” ( My beloved moomin, you meant both worlds to me).


The policemen left, one of them returned and kicked me again. I was dead, dreaming about my mother; I couldn’t feel the pain anymore.
In the night, that police officer called our local Imam and told him to take my body as I was killed by wild animals in the forest. Yes, they were wild animals; most certainly, they were.

Nasir Shafi's dead pellet ridden body

Disclaimer: This story is narrated as if it is in the first person. The situation has been fictionalised, but at the same time, utmost care has been taken by the author to stay close to facts as reported by eyewitnesses and news stories.

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