All images by Syed Shahriyar
All images by Syed Shahriyar

Now the loyal are being butchered

Caught in a crossfire, a poet from Kashmir loses 30 years of his work.

"Kis nay dekha apna ghar jalta huwa; who has watched their house on fire," laments Kashmiri poet Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, squatting over the rubble that was once his home. The serene landscape on the hillock is scarred by plumes of smoke emerging from the rubble. "Dunya walo nay toh dekhi roshni; the world only saw the light."

On 15 March 2018, Bhat, better known as Madhosh Balhami, was sitting on his front porch when three militants rushed into his home in the village of Balhama, ten kilometres south of Srinagar. They were on the run from Indian security forces, having just fired at the security officer of a Bharatiya Janatha Party leader in the vicinity.

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Himal Southasian