Jammu/Haridwar: Mohammad Sharik and Mohammad Riyaz, the two persons killed in Thursday's terror attack in Jammu, share a common thread -- both were away from their homes to earn a living and help their families financially.
Sharik (17), a resident of Haridwar in Uttarakhand, was on his way to Kashmir where he was working as a tailor for several years after the death of his father, while Riyaz (32) was returning home in south Kashmir, after five months, from Rajasthan where he was working as a shawl seller.
Both of them were among the 33 persons injured in the grenade attack at a crowded bus stand in the heart of Jammu on Thursday morning.
While Sharik succumbed to splinter injuries within hours of the incident at the Government Medical College Hospital, Riyaz breathed his last in the wee hours of Friday.
"We reached Jammu around 2.30 am on Thursday from Rajasthan and stayed at a rented room to wait for the resumption of traffic from Jammu to Srinagar. Riyaz along with my father (Nissar Ahmad Bhat) left to buy medicine as he was not feeling well and were caught in the explosion," Basit Nissar, Riyaz's cousin, told PTI.
The traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway plies alternatively in view of the ongoing work on the four-lane project.
Basit said he was also accompanying them when they went out but was asked by his father to get some change from the room. "When I returned, a deafening sound rattled the bus stand. People who were present there initially thought it to be tyre burst. When I reached the scene, both my father and Riyaz were lying in a pool of blood with multiple injuries," he said, adding his father is still recuperating in the hospital.
He said Riyaz, who was yet to be married, used to work as a labourer during summers in Kashmir to help his extended family, comprising grandparents, parents, an uncle and an elder brother. "We left for Rajasthan in November to sell shawls as was the practice for the past many years," Basit said, adding the blast had left the family shattered.
Within hours of the incident, police arrested the accused based on the oral testimony of eye-witnesses and the CCTV footage and said he was tasked by terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen to carry out the attack.
Sharik, on the other hand, was the lone bread-earner for his mother, three sisters and a younger brother after the death of his father a few years back. "His father died a few years back and being the eldest in the family the responsibility fell on his shoulders but the cruel hands of death snatched a hope for the poor family," Sharik's maternal uncle said. He said the youngster was part of a six-member group which had reached Jammu from Uttarakhand.
"We reached Jammu on Wednesday night and were staying at the bus stand to leave for Kashmir, where we used to work during summer to earn our living. Sharik was working as a tailor in Khannabal area of Anantnag district," he said.
Among the injured undergoing treatment at the GMC Hospital is seven-year-old Danish Nazir, a resident of Madwan village of Bandipora district of north Kashmir.
The boy, a student of class two, was playing when he fell down due to the explosion, his father Nazir Ahmad said, adding he along with his family were returning to Kashmir after visiting his in-laws' house in West Bengal.