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‘We lost a hero’: Kashmiris mourn death of Khalsa Aid member who rescued students during Pulwama backlash

KHALSA AID FB
After distributing kits and masks, Inderjeet was on way to Bathinda when the incident took place (Source: Khasa Aid International FB)


Srinagar: Netizens in Kashmir mourned the death of a young humanitarian from Dehradun, who played a key role in rescuing students of the valley facing backlash in other states after 2019 Pulwama suicide attack.

Inderjeet Singh, 25, a team member of Khalsa Aid, a UK-based humanitarian relief group, died in a mishap on Bathinda-Amritsar Highway, on Monday (April 20) evening after distributing masks and PPE kits among doctors and policemen.

 

His friend and another team member Darshdeep told The Kashmir Monitor that Inderjeet had left Faridkot after distributing the kits and was on his way to Bathinda in a jeep when the vehicle skidded because of rainy weather crashing with a divider.

Inderjeet, who was in the driver’s seat, suffered internal head injuries, and, as per Darshdeep, succumbed while he was being rushed to a nearby private hospital.

Another volunteer, Jagpreet Singh sustained minor injuries and is out of danger.

The deceased was crucial in rescuing hundreds of Kashmiri students studying in other states who faced hostility and backlash after the 2019 Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

Inderjeet then had accompanied multiple batches of Kashmiri students in Dehradun to Chandigarh from where they were sent to J&K.

“In one batch there were around 160 students and in another there were 50 to 60 students,” said Darshdeep.

“Inderjeet was my childhood friend but when we started working with Khalsa Aid, I saw in him a great humanitarian who would do anything to help people irrespective of their religion and the place they belonged to,” he said.

Darshdeep said that the deceased was very connected with Kashmiri students, who would reach out to him for help.

KASHMIRIS PAY TRIBUTE

Social media in Kashmir poured with tributes for the deceased.

“We lost a diamond! It is a big loss to humanity and particularly to Khalsa Aid family. The way he continued to overlook fear and hate to protect and empower others is something that will always inspire me. It breaks my heart,” tweeted Nasir Khuehami, spokesperson of Jammu and Kashmir Students Association.

Nasir, who studied in Dehradun, told The Kashmir Monitor that he had worked extensively with Inderjeet in 2019.

“We were associated with Inderjeet and Khalsa Aid for around 4 years. He had immensely helped Kashmiri students in rescuing them after the Pulwama attack backlash,” he said.

“He was a noble person who served humanity without being biased towards any creed, caste, religion and colour. May Almighty give enough patience to his family, colleagues, and friends to bear this loss,” posted Mohammed Afaaq Sayeed, a social media user in Kashmir.

“We lost a hero today, Inderjeet Singh of Khalsa Aid. Irreparable loss in these testing times. Salute to his valour and efforts RIP brother,” wrote another Facebook user in Kashmir.

A TRUE HUMANITARIAN

The deceased had travelled extensively in India conducting relief and rescue operations in Uttarakhand, Kerala, Assam, Nepal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and in recent times during Delhi violence.

An IT professional, Inderjeet was working as an employee of Khalsa Aid in Patiala office for the last six months, prior to which he was associated with the organisation as a volunteer from Dehradun for more than two years.

The family of Inderjeet, who had lost his father around 7 years ago, is completely devastated.