The killing of a physically challenged farmer, Azad Ahmad Dar, by militants has again proved that the mindless violence by terrorists is consuming the same Kashmiris whose so-called "freedom struggle" they claim to be fighting.
Police said Dar was killed by the militants after three of them entered his home around 8 p.m. on August 15 and sprayed bullets at him.
No militant outfit has owned responsibility for the merciless murder of Dar and yet the local society is so closely knit that whether the militants accept it or not, people somehow come to know who kills whom in Kashmir.
Dar, a 40-year-old physically challenged farmer of Kangan village in Pulwama district, was the poorest farmer in the entire village. Reports said nobody ever agreed to accept Dar as his son-in-law because that would mean pushing their daughter into unending misery and suffering.
Dar married a woman from Bihar who bore him a daughter who is now 10 years old.
"All he could manage was two square meals for himself and his family since he was not able to properly cultivate the little land he owned because of his physical handicap.
"He belonged to no political party, nor was he ever heard of trying to interact with the security forces or the militants. His murder has puzzled us all. Are we finally killing each other just because we have to", an elder of the village said requesting not to be named.
During the last over 30 years of the ongoing violence in Kashmir, it has mostly been the innocent, fence sitter Kashmiris who got killed at the hands of the warring factions.
Whether it is the mindless terror spread by the militants or the unfortunate incident of civilians being caught in the crossfire between the security forces and the militants, the fact remains that violence always eats its own children.
Dar's murder is another continuing link in that long chain of blood and suffering of Kashmiris that still appears unending..