‘Everyone's Darling’: Who Was Merajuddin Shah, The Kashmiri Killed At A Checkpoint

Riyaz Wani
Merajuddin Shah, 25, was shot dead by security forces in Kashmir on 14 May.

SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir ― Merajuddin Shah was known for wearing the most fashionable clothes in Makahama, a village in Budgam in central Kashmir. His friends and family say the 25-year-old Kashmiri liked dressing well every day and would draw a fair share of attention when he left for his office and returned home.  

Shah was wearing a red shirt and jeans on 13 May, the day that he was shot dead by an Indian paramilitary soldier in yet another senseless tragedy in the conflict-ridden Kashmir Valley of seven million people. 

Ashiq Hussain, his childhood friend, said, “He was dressed in a shirt with red checks that had become darker with his blood.” His voice choking with emotion, Hussain said, “He looked handsome even in death.”

Hussain, who had spent time with Shah the day before he was killed, described his friend as a young man with a cheery disposition, who loved his family and friends, with a penchant for branded clothes and sunglasses.

“He was in a jovial mood and made us all laugh,” he said. “How did I know that this was the last time I was seeing him? He was so full of life and how senselessly he has died.”

He was so full of life and how senselessly he has died.

A senseless death

With most Kashmiris fasting in the month of Ramzan, Shah’s village was sleeping when he left for Kanihama, a nearby village where he operates a Khidmat Centre, a Jammu and Kashmir government facility that provides “government to citizens and business to citizens services” in the hinterlands.  

The village of Makahama woke up to the news of his death. 

At ten in the morning, Shah was shot by a soldier of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) who was manning a checkpoint at Kawoosa, a village in Budgam.

While the CRPF and the Jammu and Kashmir Police say that Shah had jumped two checkpoints at Kawoosa, his family says the car was stationary when he was shot and it was “cold blooded murder.”

Speaking to HuffPost India, Ghulam Hassan Shah, his uncle and...

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