Kashmir: Teen who did a cameo in ‘Haider’ killed in gunfight

SRINAGAR: 15-year-old Saqib Bilal who did a cameo role in Vishal Bhardwaj’s adaption of Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet, Haider faced a similar tragic end.

Saqib, who came from a well to do farming family was among the three militants killed in a security forces gunfight in Mujgund area of Srinagar on Sunday.

According to Saqib’s family, he is a bright student, having scored 76% in Class 10 finals and opted for science stream to become an engineer.

“He was a good student. He didn’t even take a single tuition and had big plans for his future,” said his grief-stricken father Bilal Sheikh, a government employee.

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“He would never talk about militancy or the conflict. His life was filled with his own adventures,” Sheikh told News18.

A football fanatic and a theatre artist, Saqib had an interest in acting and appeared for two brief shots in Haider in 2014 starring Shahid Kapoor and Tabu. He was appreciated for his acting but fate had something else in store for him.

The death of Saqib and another boy Mudasir (14), a class 9 student from Hajin Bandipora has triggered anger and grief in Kashmir.

According to media reports, tens of thousands of Kashmiris including women and children gathered at the funeral prayers of the minors at Hajin’s Eidgah, the same place where the two teenagers used to play the game for hours.

The duo had been friends for a few months had left their homes on August 31 and immediately joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba after they disappeared.