“You’re a terrorist”: Being daughter of jailed Shabir Shah - JK News Live

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Friday, May 15, 2020

“You’re a terrorist”: Being daughter of jailed Shabir Shah

“You’re a terrorist”: Being daughter of jailed Shabir Shah

He called me Shera — a lion’s cub. I’m about eighteen. And I remember the government forces raiding my house when I was just five to arrest my father. I could barely talk straight, but I would shout — “Shah Shah, Shabir Shah!” — until a rakshak would take him away.

For the most of my life, I have been seeing my father through a window of glass; so small that I could barely see his face; so blurred that I couldn’t picture him but only his shadow-like-thing.



In the jail, I could neither touch him nor see him clearly; instead, I put my hand on the glass-window and so did my father. It felt like we were holding hands. From what I could figure out, he has turned so weak — like a skeleton.

Visiting my father, Shabir Shah, in Tihar Jail, New Delhi, has always been emotionally overwhelming for me; for long, we have been sitting on either side of the big wall – connected through a telephone. Once the jail authorities switch-off the telephone line, I couldn’t hear his voice anymore through the sound-proof glass.

Last time I met him in the jail, he said, “Shera, you’ve grown taller than your mother. You’ve become a big girl. Aap meri bahadur beti hai na? (Aren’t you a brave daughter?).”
But the journey from metro stations to my father in the jail was long. Female forces’ personnel would check me thoroughly at the gate of the jail; they used to grab my face so harshly – that it hurt – to check if I was hiding something in the mouth. And the rude abuses were harsh too.

Lights out. Suddenly, the authorities would shout – niklo niklo, mil liye bhohat! (Get out, the meeting is done).

“Your father will never be released” — I have had heard that innumerable times. I have been suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and clinical depression. I have consulted doctors across India; I have been taking heavy doses of anti-psychotic drugs and anti-depressants too.

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