Martyr's of Kashmir -P.N. Handoo

Martyrs of Kashmir
Pushkar Nath Handoo
1934 -1990
A tribute to my father

Tragic Account:

It was year 1990, Valley was burning and people were out on the streets shouting Anti India and Anti Khafir slogans. Terrorists were actively engaging Security forces in skirmishes. There was loss of life & property every where in the once Paradise called Kashmir. Gruesome Killings of Kashmiri Pandits was going on unabated.

My Dad Sh. P.N. Handoo was just settling in a jeep to leave for work like any other day on 1st March’1990 when the gun totting terrorists snuffed out his life by pumping bullets from a very close range.

This incident happened at the very front door of his house at 7 Balgarden , Srinagar which had a stone with his mom’s name Devki etched on it, whom he loved profusely. He was taken to the local nearby hospital, a couple of miles away but had hardly any doctor attending to him immediately. He was eventually declared as brought dead .

This way came the end of a very pious & humble man who was a true KaramYogi and believed in Integrity, Spirituality & Dedication.

With the eruption of militancy in Kashmir he called it start of a difficult era for Indian Democracy , which would wreck havoc on the peace loving people in Kashmir . Fundamentalist ran the system which was an anti-thesis of Democracy & had scant regard for Human Rights.

He preferred to die in this turmoil than quit/leave the state. His death on a call of duty , in his words was the best tribute anyone could pay to further peace & strengthen multi-religious social fabric in Kashmir.
Life Profile:

My Dad, Sh. Pushkar Nath Handoo was the only surviving child of Sh. Maheswar Nath Handoo (School Teacher) & Smt. Devki Handoo (Homemaker) of Bohri Kadal , Srinager . Early on , as he was growing he was grieved to see the deaths of his siblings one by one , under tragic circumstances. His end came in tragic as well.

Dad grew up in the lap of struggle. He shouldered the responsibility of supporting the family in his early age, immediately after his elder brother died in an accident and both parents got sick.

He meticulously balanced family life, work and pursued his education with vigor.

In his career, he worked in All India Radio, Srinagar initially and then the Information Department of the J&K Govt. In between he served as a Private Secretary to the J&K Governor Jag Mohan during Governor’s rule in mid eighties of last century.

He was a prolific reader and writer with very good command over Urdu, Hindi & English languages. He would write for Local/National Newspapers and the electronic media with equal ease.

He had an intense passion for subject of History which took him to places. He travelled extensively in all the three regions of the J&K State (Ladakh, Kashmir & Jammu) and visited almost all of the ancient Temples, Shrines, Monasteries and Monuments within the state besides some outside.

His outlook was secular and spiritual. He would pull well with members from all the major communities within the state. He demonstrated depth of knowledge, awareness and respect for each of the communities and their heritages.

He believed in education and made every effort to provide the best possible education to his kids. He sent them to reputed schools so that they could be exposed to the best not only in academics but every sphere of life.

He would go extra mile to provide comfort to somebody who needed help. He would regularly get essentials for neighbors during shut downs in the Valley. He lived a simple life but always kept it meaningful.

Above and beyond he was a doting father who is missed by family members on everyday in the last 21 years ……….
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It is a painful experience for anyone to loose his father in this way. This should be an eye opener for those who are preaching return without any change of hearts or safeguard at the mercy of the killers.
Added By Dileep Raina
My father was a simple and highly cultured person with high values and polished language.he always believed in non voilence.he always opposed the killing of animals so was a vegetarian from his childhood.he could never hurt anyone. the terrist who took my father awway from us ,instead of being punished is enjoying a liberal and happy life in the valley and we are still living in the pain of my fathers separation.
Added By kavitahandoo ganjoo