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Father jumps back into river to save his son after boat capsize

Heart-wrenching scenes in Gandabal as Showkat’s brave act ends in tragedy


Srinagar: “It was a father’s love for his son that made him jump back into the Jhelum, after battling with the high tides of the river, to save his life. As he jumped back to save his son, he started to swim towards the rope of one shore, while he slowly started losing energy and eventually drowned along with his son,” recounted an eyewitness about Showkat Ahmad, a devoted father, who made the ultimate sacrifice to save his son, Haziq, from the treacherous currents of the Jhelum River on Tuesday morning.


Heart-wrenching scenes unfolded in Srinagar’s Gandabal area. Mourners recall that Showkat Ahmad, a proficient mason, left home on Tuesday morning to drop his son Haziq Showkat to school.


The school is situated on opposite sides of the Jhelum, and they are yet to return, as the boat they travelled in capsized in the river.


Among the father-son duo is another missing person, Farhan Parray. All three are among the fifteen persons who drowned when a boat ferrying locals and non-local J&K residents to the other side of the Jhelum capsized.


”Among the missing, Showkat Ahmad was the lone brother among six sisters and a helping hand to the family. He was a mason, but a man of his word and a hardworking person,” his neighbour said while speaking to KNO.


“Vanni Kyaa Karre Hoo, Me Kath Laggi Yi Kadel Vanni (now what will I do, what use is this bridge to me),” screamed the old mother of Showkat, as the bodies of her son and grandson are yet to be retrieved from the river.


“He was the lone brother of his five sisters. It is a shock for us and the entire locality,” said a woman, wailing over the loss and missing bodies.


An eyewitness, Tahir (name changed), recalled the incident. “Showkat saved himself and reached towards the rope but jumped back into the Jhelum upon seeing his son Hazik drowning. He started to swim towards the rope of one shore, while he slowly started losing energy and eventually drowned along with his son.”


“The cries from Gandabal are haunting me, as this is such a devastating incident and the first in my lifetime. Even if the authorities would give us a bridge made of gold, it would not be enough for us as we lost innocent souls to the waters of Jhelum,” he added.


Meanwhile, the rescue operation to retrieve the bodies continued all day on Wednesday, with no traces of the missing persons found.

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