“Normally, children observe the death anniversary of their parents. But in our case it’s the other way round. We have no strength to perform his barsi (death anniversary),’’ says Afsarunnisa, as she breaks down.
It will be five years on Saturday, since her son Mohammed Mukarram Pasha, 19, a BCom student of Baldwin Methodist College, was shot dead by a military guard, as he tried to climb the compound of a Brigadier’s house in the military area in the city, to escape from police chasing him for drag racing.
The gloom that descended on the student’s family comprising his mother, father and his two sisters on that December night refuses to go away. The parents have refused steadfastly to observe the ritual of Mukarram’s barsi (death anniversary) ever since. They have kept postponing it hoping to perform it once the guilty have been punished.
She expresses her disappointment with the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) and the the National Human Rights Commission for failing to initiate any action against those who shot her son.
“The KSHRC advised us to approach the NHRC. We followed the KSHRC’s directive expecting some justice, but after four years, we are yet to hear from them,’’ says Afsarunnisa.
She contrasted the Karnataka government’s refusal to intervene in the case with its counterpart in Tamil Nadu, where chief minister Jayalalithaa took measures to punish a retired army officer who shot a boy for trying to pluck mangoes in the compound of his house.
She made it clear that she wanted no compensation.
Mukarram was shot dead by an army guard after he trespassed into the official residence of the brigadier, while trying to get away from the police. Mukarram was allegedly performing some daredevil stunts when some traffic police men came on the scene.
On seeing them, Mukarram abandoned his two-wheeler and tried to escape by jumping over the wall of the high-security Flag Staff house compound. Once inside, the army guards — who thought Pasha was a terrorist — ordered him to surrender. When Mukarram tried to escape, a guard shot him dead.