Muzaffar, a city auto driver

JK Bank

By Fahad Shah

For an auto rickshaw driver hailing from the pro-freedom area of downtown city where curfew restrictions have become habit for inhabitants for last one month, the prevailing situation in the valley  is routine now, he lives it as any other normal days.

Thirty eight year old, Muzaffar Ahmad Sofi of Nowhatta drives an auto rickshaw on city roads since the year 1994 when he bought it during the tense days of Kashmir politics.

He says he has a loss of more than 2000 rupees in this prevailing unrest. “After remaining at home for five days I am on work today. These days passengers are small in number.  We hardly get any passenger,” he said this scribe while passing through the downtown area.

How you manage your expenditures at home? “I borrow money or food stuff from friends and relatives, if needed,” he replies.

He is married since five years now and has a four years old son. Today Muzaffar has been waiting for any passenger from 8 am morning to 1 pm. His daily work schedule is from 8 am to 8 pm, twelve hours a day.

While on work like any other family of valley his family too gets worried as the situation here always remains tense. “I don’t want people to pelt stones, just protest. But when government imposes restrictions on peaceful protests it pushes youth towards stone pelting,” he said while pointing towards the stones on roads near Nowhatta.

However, Muzaffar wants freedom because he says he can’t forget those thousands of sacrifices offered in these last 21 years for the independence.

For him imposition of curfew by government is azaab. Pointing on the roadside piles of garbage near Hawal, he says all the roads and streets are filled with garbage like this, just due to curfew.

His residential area gets curfew relaxation in evening, though but for whole day people are confined to their homes only.

Muzaffar leaves the valley to god, he says, “Allah should have its own mercy upon us.”

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  4. People pelt stones first or govt imposes restrictions first?

    Terrorists began violence or the Army?

    Islamists hijacked the J&K issue or was it an Islamic Jihad right from the go?

    I wish Kashmirwalla has the answers. Or at lest, an intention to search for them!