NEW DELHI: “At this age, when I should have died, my son Arvind has. This is unbearable.” Devendra Sah fainted after saying this. His 31-year-old son Arvind Kumar Sah was shot dead from point-bank range by terrorists in Srinagar on Saturday. He was a gol gappa seller. It was the second such killing in the same locality, 11 days after another gol gappa seller from Bihar, Birendra Paswan, was gunned down by terrorists.
“My son has left the family of 13 at the mercy of god. He was the lone breadwinner. God, why don’t you take me instead of my son,” the hapless father wailed after gaining consciousness. Arvind was 31.
Accompanied by family members who had come over to mourn Arvind’s death, his father sought compensation from the government.
“I demand an assistance of Rs 50 lakh and a government job for a member of the family. Our survival will become difficult if we don’t get that.” He also said the India-Pakistan T20 World Cup match slated for
October 24 should be cancelled, implying that the terrorists are from across the border.
Devendra’s elder son Vinod died of illness a year ago. The late Arvind has a younger brother Mukesh who does farming. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced an assistance of Rs 2 lakh from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for the family. According to official sources, the J&K government has also announced an assistance of Rs 11.25 lakh to the next kin of deceased.
Arvind had returned to Srinagar just three months ago, after the Covid-19 second wave subsided. He was plying his trade in Srinagar’s Edgah area for the last six years. A large number of migrated residents of Bihar work in Srinagar as labourers, hawkers, masons and electricians. After the spate of civilian killings, many of them are leaving the Valley.