Srinagar: They dared deadly guns during the second world war and helped their colleagues survive bullets. Impressed by the bravery of Ghulam Qadir Wani of Maisuma, Srinagar, a Sikh soldier from Punjab, Ranjit Roy called on him and hugged him. They became friends and exchanged their watches as a memento of their love for each other. The war ended and both of them rushed to their respective places.
On October 27, 1947 when the Indian troops landed in Srinagar, some persons believed to be National Conference workers went to Rambagh to greet them. Ghulam Qadir Wani was also present there. The Indian soldiers fired at them killing 11 persons including Ghulam Qadir Wani. The soldiers commanded by Ranjit Roy, who had now become a Lt. Colonel stopped near the bridge for some time.
Roy ordered a soldier to get him a cup of tea. When the soldiers served the tea Roy had a good look at his watch. He became curious and questioned him. “Where did you get this watch from?” The soldier replied, “This is my watch sir.” Roy could not take more ofit. “This is my watch. I gave it to my friend during the war. Tell me the truth or I kill you’, he shouted.
The scared soldier narrated the truth. “We killed some persons a short while ago, removed this watch from the arm of one of the deceased” he informed the curious Roy.
Tears rolled down his cheeks. “Where is the body? Take me there immediately” Roy yelled at him. One look at the face of the deceased and he turned hysterical. He cried like a woman.
After hurling a few abuses on the soldier he sat down and..cursed his soldiers,
Meanwhile, Qadri’s relatives came to take the body. Roy gave them a vehicle and accompanied them to Maisuna. Qadri’s body was taken to Haji Masjid for the final bath, Roy removed his shoes, entered the mosque and participated in the ritual. He was sobbing all the time. Finally when Qadir s coffin was taken to the graveyard at Dal Gate for burial, Roy accompanied the bereaved and stayed at the graveyard till his friend was laid to rest.
On his return from the graveyard, he talked about his deceased m friend. “We survived the bullets during the war. I had never timagined that my own soldiers will kill my friend he said ended and left.
The same day, Roy left for Baramulla in a fierce battle with the Azad forces’, he got killed.
Lt. General L.P. Sen in his book, Slender was the thread, says the firing incident took place in November. According to him it was an accident. However, local historians and the the elder brother of Ghulam Qadir Wani say with authority that the incident took place on october 27. The death or Roy at Baramulla on October 27 confirms it.
(Source: Flash Back by Zahiruddin)