Profile of a great Kashmiri martyr; Bashir Ahmed Sheikh Gazi
By Muhammad Abdullah 13|02|2107
The Senior most Commander of Jammu and Kashmir Al-Fatah Force Bashir Ahmed Sheikh, nom de guerre Gazi, martyred on 13th February 2002, was born at Kaloosa Bandipora in a peasant family. This hamlet has produced some of well known martyred commanders like:Abdul Khaliq Ganai(Jemal Afghani) and Nazir Ahmed Shah. Shaheed Abdul Majeed Khan also belonged to the same town.
Shaheed Bashir Ahmed Sheikh starled his political activities as pro-freedom activist in 1970s under the inspirations of Muhammad Farooq Rehman, who was then Chairman of the People’s League and today Chairman J&K People’s Freedom League. In 1988 Gazi Bashir Ahmad Sheikh joined the armed resistance for freedom of the State. He was imprisoned several times by Police and became famous in Kashmir North. In1989, he was arrested and detained in Sangrore Jail of India. He spent some years in Rajasthan jail also. Bashir Ahmed Sheikh was released in 1992, and became Chief Commander of the former Jihad Force. But, again arrested in 1994 at Barzulla Srinagar.
His arrest was declared as a major success by the army spokesman in Srinagar. Now, he was forced to face ordeal in the torture centers of New Airport, SoG Cargo, Papa ii Dal Lake in Srinagar and finally shifted to the high security prison of Udhampore (Jammu). In 1999, he was shifted to Sopore and Bandipore Police Stations and released after a long period of detention under the orders of the JK High Court Srinagar. However, the authorities kept him under their strict vigil and prohibited his movements outside of his local town Bandipore. He spent several years in different prisons and toriure centers of J&K. inspite of all these restrictions, he worked for the cause of freedom under the Al-Fatah Force.
Bashir Ahmed Sheikh embraced martyrdom in a fierce fight in village Watrinah Bandipore, along with other companions: Shabir Ahmed Mir, Abdul Ahad Jan and Salim Khan. Rashtriya Rifles, BSF and Police Task Force had cordoned off an area of about three square Kms prior to this tragic episode. But, all the four mujahideen fought to the last bullet and sacrificed their lives for the sacred cause of freedom for Kashmir. They are the departed souls, the Kashmir will never ever forget.
On 13th February, the news of the martyrdom of these valiant Commanders spread like a storm across the valley and all the business establishments came to halt to mourn the death of saviours of the motherland. The army took all the four dead bodies in their custody and fearing large scale public resentment, the dead bodies were buried under tight security at midnight. Shaheed Commander Bashir Ahmed Sheikh was known for his integrity and honesty in his native town. He will be remembered for his sincerety and dedication and freedom fighters today reaffirm their pledge to continue the struggle of freedom for the liberation of Jammu and Kashmir. Such are the sons of the land who sacrifice their today for our tomorrow. Allah bless them with His unbounded mercy.