Muslim farmer killed in Jammu village, family demand punishment against culprits

By Ayushi Malik, 

Jammu: In Phalian Mandal village of Satwari in Jammu, a local Gujjar Muslim farmer’s killing at the hands of a gang of goons has caused anger among the community.

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The farmer Shabir Chaudhary, was killed by a gang of goons near his house on 10 September.

On the evening of 10 September while Shabir was having dinner with his family, a man named Liaqat Ali, also a resident of the same village, visited Shabir’s home asking him to accompany him to the market. According to the family, Liaquat Ali, also from the Gujjar community has been like a brother to Shabir for years, and they wonder why did he betray him?

Zehtoon, Shabir’s sister narrates that both (Liaquat and Shabir) left on a bike and a few metres away Shabir was hit while on a bike and he told Liaquat to speed up. However, Liaquat stopped the bike, pushing Shabir to the ground and stood watching. Zehtoon and other members confirmed that the attack took place in an area dominated by Non-Muslims of Basha Community, in front of the Village Panch’s house.

“We were having dinner at around 8 pm when Liaquat came asking Shabir to go with him to the market. They left at 8.10 pm and at 8.17 pm, we received Liaquat’s call informing us that there had been an accident. I rushed with my son to see what had happened,” wife of Shabir, Khursheed Bibi told

Bashir Khattana,Shabir’s uncle and villagers read prayers at Shabir’s home.

Shabir was the sole breadwinner of his family of 4, which included his wife Khursheed Bibi, son Mohammad Sohail and daughter Nazia Chaudhary.

According to Khursheed Bibi, it was their son Sohail who picked up the call when Liaquat called to inform them that Shabir had met with an accident.

“Sohail picked up the phone when Liaquat called asking him to inform me that his father met with an an accident. Sohail rushed to the spot on his cycle while I followed him on foot leaving Nazia at home,” she adds.

Sohail reached the spot first to find his father drenched in his blood lying on the streets. He alleges that there were 5 men he saw fleeing from the spot, one of them he recognized as Mahesh, the alleged mastermind behind the planned attack. “I saw a car and two bikes there. As soon as I arrived at the spot, they all fled from the scene. There were 5 people. They had cut both his feet and legs. He (Shabir) told me that Mahesh, Jagga and Liaquat attacked him. He was in immense pain and asked me to stroke his stomach. We gave him water to drink. Swords and other weapons were found on the spot. We took him to the police station in a car,” he added.

Khursheed Bibi, wife of Shabir Chaudhary.

Khursheed Bibi said that when she arrived at the spot she saw 3 to 4 men fleeing from the spot. “They had dropped their weapons there. I asked the men did you at least leave him alive to which Mahesh replied – You see for yourself,” she said.

The family alleges that the attack was pre-planned and took place in front of the village Panch’s house, who according to the family members, did nothing to help Shabir but watched from his terrace. “How can one not know what’s happening in front of his own house? At least they should have informed the police,” asks Khursheed Bibi.

Zehtoon, Shabir’s sister claims that the street lights were switched off when they reached the place where he was attacked and no one stepped out from their houses to offer any help to the injured Shabir.

According to the villagers and family, Mahesh is a history-sheeter known to tease Gujjar girls and has a previous criminal record. As per them, the feud started from an alleged dispute which took place around a month ago between Shabir and Mahesh when the latter was caught harassing a Gujjar girl in the village. Following this, Mahesh was arrested and kept in custody for over a week.

Some villagers claimed that ever since he was released Mahesh had been looking forward to seeking revenge and telling villagers his plans to kill Shabir. Shah Deen, the maternal uncle of Shabir, mentions that Mahesh would go around telling everyone that he would beat up Shabir.

According to the villagers, Mahesh, Jagga, Gugga, Bunty and others are all local goons known for their criminal records.

Naseeb, the cousin of Shabir, states that these goons have killed 3 more people by taking away the sole earner of the family of four. Naseeb is now urging the government to financially help her kids Sohail and Nazia with their education. “They have not killed 1 but 3 more people of the family. How will we survive now,” she said.

Sohail, 12, is busy serving people from nearby villages who are coming to pay their sympathies and respect to the family.

Khursheed Bibi said that he didn’t cry a single tear on knowing about the demise of his father.

Shabir’s 9-year-old daughter Naziya, smiles nervously for the camera.

“They both could not believe that their father has died,” adds Khursheed.

While the elders of the village had taken the injured Shabir to the hospital, both the children spent the night at the neighbour’s house.

Before being taken to the hospital for treatment, the injured Shabir was taken to a police station to record his statement naming the accused. He was first taken to a health care centre and later shifted to GMCH Jammu, around 45 minutes drive from Mandal village.

Bashir Khatanna, Shabir’s uncle told that hundreds of people from the Gujjar community had reached GMCH Jammu within hours. Shabir succumbed to his injuries at around 11 pm and the body was handed over to the family the next day at 4 pm after a post-mortem and COVID-19 test were done.

Villagers allege that there had been a deliberate effort to delay handing over the body of the victim as the medical staff feared they would protest. Pictures show that Shabir was stabbed with swords and other sharp weapons on his both hands and legs and back.

Shabir was buried in Narwal in Jammu on Friday evening. Gujjars from neighbouring states had also come to pay their respects. “Shabir was a fine young man who stood up for the right cause and hence was killed,” states Naseeb.

Shabir and his family live in a small house with three rooms. Shabir would make around Rs 3000-4000 per month by doing labour work and multiple jobs in his village. His clothes lie packed in a small old suitcase.

Nazia and Sohail holding Shabir’s skullcaps (Picture Credit-Ayushi Malik)

Nazia and Sohail take out his skull caps and his Kurta Pyjama and pose for a picture.

An FIR has been registered in Satwari Police station under the attempt to murder and rioting.

The accused person Mahesh was arrested on the same night of the assault followed by the arrest of Jagga, Gugga and Bunty.

Family claims Gugga is related to the village Panch, and had come to their house with Liaquat on 10 September evening but was hiding and then ran to inform other gang members about Shabir coming with Liaquat.

Liaquat had fled from the spot and continues to be on the run.

Talking to, Bashir said that he had requested Liaquat’s father to tell his son to appear before them but he declined to share the whereabouts of his son claiming he doesn’t know where he is.

Gujjar-Bakarwal leader, Nazakat Khatanna also visited the house to pay his respects.

The family demands justice for Shabir. Khursheed Bibi wants the killers to be hanged or be given life imprisonment or she fears these incidents will not stop in the future.

Bashir demands that the culprits should be arrested and punished severely so that no such incident takes place in future. “This is the first of its kind of incident which took place here. We have not heard of anything like this for years in our village. This is a safe area, and these miscreants should be taught a lesson or such incidents will only rise in future,” said Bashir.