The family of the incarcerated top separatist leader has adopted Insha Mushtaq, the 14 year old girl blinded by the pellets, who has since emerged as the symbol of the current upsurge in Valley.
This follows Shah’s announcement last week that he will adopt Insha as “his third daughter”. A statement issued to the press today by the family said they went to Sedow, Shopian and adopted Insha. Shah’s wife, two daughters, elder brother, sister and a few other family members were led by Moulana Abdullah Tari, the secretary general of Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), Shah’s party.
The DFP is the constituent of the Hurriyat faction led by Syed Ali Geelani and Shah is the senior most separatist leader in Valley with a long history of secessionist activity prior to 1989 plunge into armed struggle.
Insha was hit by a volley of pellet gunfire in her face just two days into the ongoing unrest when she opened the window to look at the protest outside. Her face and eyes bled profusely. She was rushed to local district hospital where she was referred to SMHS, Valley’s main hospital in Srinagar. It is here that the picture taken of her pellet-riddled disfigured face went viral, and brought to light for the first time the then horrific state of affairs prevailing in the state.
Insha was later rushed to AIIMS, New Delhi and from thereon to Mumbai on state government expenditure. But after going through several rounds of surgeries, doctors declared her blind She is back to her home now. Her tragic story and the pictures frequently makes it to the front pages of the local dailies. She has also been interviewed a number of times, forcing political parties across mainstream-separatist divide to take note of her.
However, Shah’s gesture has by far been the most attention-grabbing. Communicating Shabir Shah’s good wishes to the family, Maulana Tari said that “Shah Sahib will take care of Insha till his last breath”.
“Daughter Insha needs not to worry about anything,” Tari said while introducing both families to each other. “Islam stresses on maintaining mutual brotherhood, love, and affection besides taking care of each other”.
Earlier Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had visited Insha at AIIMS and assured her that the government will do everything to bring back her sight.
“She (Mehbooba) told me that she will give me her own sight,” Insha later told media. “I replied that she wouldn’t do that and that all I wanted was to get my vision back”.