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Hero buried in the Capital amid total media blackout
Muslim Captain dies unsung
By S U Rahman 

Inset: Captain Jawed AliThe country lost yet another promising young soldier in front of the lofty chinar trees in what used to be ‘paradise on earth.’ Captain Jawed Ali Saifi, who had just celebrated his 32nd birthday on 1 August, was shot at around 11 in the night of 22 August in Srinagar. He succumbed immediately to his injuries on the spot itself. His body was brought to Delhi next day.

But the martyrdom of the young captain made no news for the ‘national’ or mainstream media which goes berserk to highlight the religious affiliation if the victim is a non-Muslim. Newspapers and TV channels which gave full coverage to the death of a colonel and a lieutenant on the same day failed to cover the news of Javed Saifi’s martyrdom or the emotion-charged burial given by the people of his area, Zakir Nagar, in the national capital. It is observed that this is habit of the so-called national media when it comes to cover news of this sort, unless, of course the news is somehow anti-Muslim. 

Martyr Jawed was given a grand burial by the people of his area. Thousands of people thronged his burial site and prayed for him. Thousands gathered in front of his house to mourn the death of a young and promising soldier from the community who sacrificed his life defending the country in the insurgency-hit state of Jammu and Kashmir. Hundreds of those who had gathered to mourn his death, did not even know the person who lost his life in Srinagar, but had come to condole his death because he had sacrificed himself for the country. Everyone seemed aggrieved, tears rolling down their eyes and trying to know who the young soul was. 

Muhammad Ashraf, who attended the funeral of the young captain, was one of the hundreds who did not know Captain Jawed Ali Saifi, but had gathered to mourn his death nonetheless. When this correspondent asked Ashraf as to why he is attending the funeral without knowing who the martyr was, he replied that now he knows him better than himself. It is enough to know that he has given up his life in order to defend his country, and this reason alone is enough to make Jawed nearer to him than any of his relatives. A number of other people including Rahmat Yar expressed same sentiments. They mourned and prayed for the young soul who has parted in the midst of his prime youth.

Jawed was born on 1 August 1968. He did BSc in civil engineering from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi and joined the army in 1995 as lieutenant. Soon he was promoted to the rank of captain. The sole bread-earner of his family, he is survived by his young wife Abida whom he married in 1994 before he joined the army. He has left behind a 4-year-old son, Faisal, an ailing father, two brothers, one of whom is blind and three sisters.

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