Kulgam Massacre: 'Get out of here' - How this line saved a life in Kashmir

KOLKATA: Basirul Sarkar, the only survivor of the massacre who returned home until Thursday, owes his life to the merchant in a Kashmir neighborhood.

TOI spoke with Sarkar, who was briefly treated at the SSKM Hospital in Kolkata before continuing his journey back to Sagardighi, Thursday afternoon. Tum yahan se bhago (get out of here), was the four-word prayer to which Sarkar said he owed his life.

He had gone out to look for rice for dinner for the eight. I was about to arrive at our house with food when a local merchant warned me to flee, Sarkar said. He did what he was told. I simply ran to the nearby house of our garden supervisor, he recalled. I heard several shots and realized why they told me to run away.

Five of Sarkar's coworkers died in Tuesday's violence in Jammu and the doctors at Kulgam and Kolkata who saw Thursday at age 36 said they suffered more than one trauma. We went to a psychiatrist so we could help him give him some relief, said M L Saha, one of the main members of the SSKM Trauma Care Center and under which Sarkar was admitted.

I saw five die, one more writhing in pain

Sarkar described the vision that, according to doctors, could lead to a case of severe post-traumatic stress disorder: “I returned to our home with our supervisor long after the guns stopped. I saw five of my dead friends, blood coming out of several wounds and another writhing in agony.

The resident of the village of Bahalnagar in Sagardighi, in Murshidabad, left Kulgam home with seven others in September to work in an apple orchard. Exactly four weeks later, he was in bed 20 of the Trauma Care Center of SKKM Hospital, where he spent a night before leaving for his town on Thursday afternoon.

Sarkar had trouble sleeping in the hospital, woke up every now and then, trembling with fear; The doctors also found him crying continuously. Medical opinion weighed to keep him in SSKM during several rounds of counseling, but Sarkar insisted he wanted to go home to be with his family. I recommended that he be transferred to the Institute of Psychiatry for further evaluation and treatment, said the director of the institute, Pradip Saha. But the doctors allowed him to leave, on the advice that he return to the hospital if necessary, due to his persistent pleas to be allowed to return home.

Sarkar went home with his brother and cousin, but he regretted: he could not thank the neighborhood shopkeeper for saving his life. I do not even know your name. This is something I would like to do after things return to normal, ”he told TOI before going home in a police vehicle.