Srinagar Blast: Death Of A Teenager And Dreams Of Her Family

Rafiya was the only child in her family who was pursuing education. People in her locality would give example of her hard work, her family and neighbours said.

Representative image of Srinagar

Rafiya Nazir, 18, was very excited and had worn new clothes when she left her home on Sunday. Accompanied by her mother Hameeda and her older sister, it was a rare outing that she took – little knowing that it would be her last.

Rafiya, a resident of Check Sadrabal locality in Hazratbal, was scheduled to visit her uncle in Bemina who had invited them for an overnight stay. They stopped to buy fruits at a busy market on the Amira Kadal bridge when within minutes a grenade blast rocked the market, sparking chaos and forcing people to run for their lives.

Rafiya suffered severe splinter injuries in her brain and fell on the road. Her mother and sister were wounded in their legs. Rafiya was carried by the people present there to the hospital as her head was bleeding profusely.

“She would never go anywhere and was always busy with her studies. But on Sunday she was happy to go out. She was a star in our family. She was like a candle for us in darkness. I can’t tell you what she was, she was a different child.  I don't know how I am going to live now,” Rafiya’s mother Hameeda, 41, said. 

Rafiya struggled at the hospital for one night and succumbed due to severe injuries on Monday morning at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital. 

"When she fell down, she found her head bleeding and told me she is feeling something in her head. I thought she will be fine," her mother said.

Rafiya was the only child in her family who was pursuing education. People in her locality would give example of her hard work, her family and neighbours said. Her older sister had dropped out of school in class 10 as the family could not afford her education. Her two brothers work as masons.

Last month when Rafiya’s results were declared, it was like a festival in her locality as she secured 94 per cent despite facing financial hardships.

“We bought her a new android phone last year because she needed to study for online classes. She would always tell me to allow her to study. She wanted to become a doctor. She was very dedicated and committed to pursuing her dreams,” her mother said while she was surrounded by mourners.

Nazir Ahmad Tinda, Rafiya's father, was inconsolable. He was unable to come to terms with the death of his daughter.

“She was preparing for the NEET exam and was attending her classes. On Sunday, she did not go to her classes and was excited to visit uncle's home who had invited all of us for the night,” Rafiya's sister said.

Despite securing 94 per cent marks in the science stream in the recently declared class 12 exams, getting private coaching for NEET exam was difficult for Rafiya as the family could not afford the fees because of poverty – her father is a carpet weaver who makes Rs 250-350 per day, the family said. A private tuition center in the city agreed to admit her for half the fees in instalments.

“I don’t know what she is doing alone in the cold grave,” Rafiya’s sister said.

The police said two persons were arrested in connection with Sunday’s grenade attack that killed two civilians, including Rafiya, and injured 38 others. The police said, “The two accused had committed the terrorist act on the directions of active terrorists in Kashmir valley.”

SSP Srinagar Rakesh Balwal said CCTV footage and other hi-tech methods helped to crack the Amira Kadal terror attack case. The SSP has asked business establishments across Srinagar to install CCTV cameras outside and inside their shops as soon as possible.