In a chronicle of his death foretold, Feroz Ahmed Dar wrote, “Just imagine…yourself in your grave. Down there in that dark hole…Alone.”
The 32-year-old Jammu and Kashmir police officer was buried last night in the family’s ancestral graveyard in Dogripora village in Pulwama district with many from the village and his department bidding him a tearful adieu.
Dar and five other policemen were killed yesterday in a gruesome ambush in Achabal in Anantnag district by suspected LeT militants who tried to disfigure their faces before walking away with their weapons.
As his family and friends prepared for his last journey, his words written on January 18, 2013 came back to haunt. “Did you ever stop for a while and asked yourself, what is going to happen to me the first night in my grave? Think about the moment your body is being washed and prepared to your grave.
“Think about the day people will be carrying you to your grave And your families crying …think about the moment you are put in your grave,” he had written on his Facebook wall.
As Dogripora mourned its hero, his premonition of death echoed from his “first night” in the grave.
The village, which shares its border with Budgam as well as Shopian districts, was awash with tears as it were.
Villagers queued up outside Dar’s home to offer their condolences. His two daughters — six-year-old Addah and two-year-old Simran – watched bewildered, unable to understand the sudden rush of people at their house.
His wife Mubeena Akthar and aged parents wailed and beat their chests, trying to come to terms with the devastating loss.
Nicknamed Dabang (daring) by his friends and a “one man army”, Dar had wished earnestly for the situation in the Kashmir Valley to return to normal.
“Oh God! when will be the day we see normal Kashmir,” he had written on his Facebook page on March 8, 2013.
While family and his colleagues grieved, so did his batchmates.
“Bus itna yaad rahe, ek saathi aur bhi tha…” The refrain of the Bollywood song from the film “LoC Kargil” recalling the sacrifices of a soldier echoed their grief.
His batchmate Sunil Sharma posted Dar’s picture and recalled the lyrics of the song in memory of those martyred in war.
Many of his batchmates and colleagues recalled their association with Dar and said he was a god fearing man and a true Muslim who offered prayers five times a day.
“The officer whom everybody loved and who could get the support and respect of everybody around will always be in our heart. This inhuman act will be punished and punished suitably. Condolences for all the men that we lost today,” Deputy Inspector General of Police (South Kashmir) Swayam Prakash Pani posted on his official Facebook page.
As the memories continue to build, and his family learns to live with the tragedy that has befallen them, Dar’s hope for a peaceful Kashmir lives on.