Thursday, May 24, 2018 | 1:16 AM

A year after militant’s death, a glance at his life

Monday, May 1, 2017

(Kashmir Reader) - A year ago, a bright young man who picked up arms in rebellion was killed in south Kashmir’s Shopian. Inamul Haq, popularly known as Wasim Ahmad Malla, was killed along with his associate Naseer Pandit, a former constable. The two of them are credited with reviving militancy in south Kashmir’s Shopian, Pulwama and Kulgam districts. Both were killed by government troops on April 7 last year in a brief gunfight in Shopian’s Vehil village.

Known as a “fearless” boy among the villagers, and as a “mastermind” among the government forces, Malla had finished his graduation before he took up arms. He joined Hizbul Mujahideen month before he was supposed to write BEd exams. “He was an intelligent student. He would pray five times a day,” recalled Malla’s family at their native Pehlipora village.

In 2010, police arrested Malla on charges of being an over-ground worker of Hizbul Mujahideen. “He was in police custody for about two months in Anantnag. The government forces picked him up from Anantnag market and dubbed him as an over-ground worker for militants. I brought him back from police custody but when he took up arms on May 11, 2012, I could not bring him back,” said his father Iqbal Malla, an orchardist.

After coming out of police custody, Malla enrolled for a BEd course through distance mode in Kashmir University, his friends said.

“He would not talk to his classmates. He was a changed man after coming out of police custody. Many times, I inquired from him about his personal life but he would always evade my questions saying ‘I am ok’,” a close friend of Malla said.

Malla, who went on to become a top militant leader of Hizb, stayed silent for two years after his arrest and then, one day, decamped with rifles from Shopian’s Pargoza village.

Soon after he joined militant ranks, his family began to be harassed by government forces. Iqbal said his second son Saboor Ahmad Malla was a school teacher in a private school but he, too, was slapped with Public Safety Act after Wasim joined militancy.

“They detained my elder son Saboor several times and once he was booked under PSA for four months. Many times Saboor was picked up and put in custody for being the brother of a militant,” Iqbal said.

Saboor said that the government booked him under PSA but the court quashed the case.

Recalling the harassment faced by the family, Iqbal said that once a person was shot at in the village and then “some families accompanied by police ransacked our house and beat my wife without any reason. I myself tried to pick up arms against India but Allah had chosen my son for this,” he said, adding, “Each member of our family is ready to die for this noble cause. We always support resistance.”

After he was killed, Malla was declared by the government as the “mastermind” behind the killing of three policemen at Amshipora village of Shopian in 2015.

Malla was among the militants popularly called the “Burhan group”. A photo of his along with iconic Hizb commander Burhan Wani had gone viral on social media.