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‘Yasin Malik not only killed my husband but ruined us’:Slain IAF officer’s wife

Author: Ravi Krishan Khajuria
Publication: Hindustan Times
Date: September 12, 2019
URL:      https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/yasin-malik-not-only-killed-my-husband-but-ruined-us-slain-iaf-officer-s-wife/story-kfX3CkGXIVDXlq3NOJS6ML.html

A TADA court on September 7 had issued non-bailable warrants against Yasin Malik and others allegedly involved the killing of four Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel inKashmir in 1990.

Even as militant-turned-separatist leader Yasin Malik could not be produced before a TADA court here on Wednesday, 68-year-old Shalini Khanna alias Nirmal Khanna, the widow of Squadron Leader Ravi Khanna, on Wednesday said that justice should be delivered to her and Malik be sent to gallows.

 “Yasin Malik not only murdered my husband but also killed my mother-in-law, my father-in-law and my mother. My two children lost their childhood. Our happiness was snatched away in a second. This terrorist turned our world upside down,” Shalini told HT.

The court on September 7 had issued non-bailable warrants against Yasin Malik and others allegedly involved the killing of four Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel inKashmir in 1990.

Recalling the fateful morning of January 25, 1990, Shalini Khanna said, “I lived in Rawalpora and our house was just 50 yards away from the crime scene. Amid curfew I heard sound of crackers that morning. At wit’s end I went to the roof top and saw some army vehicles and men in uniform. I went there to see what actually had happened and spotted my husband’s briefcase with a bullet mark on it. I realised that something wrong has happened.”

“At a distance, I saw my husband lying in a pool of blood. I saw a bullet injury in his abdomen. Initially, I felt embarrassed thinking that if my husband could not endure a single bullet, then how could our borders be secured,” she added.

However, Squadron Leader Ravi Khanna, who was 38-year-old at that time, was shot 27 times with an AK-47 assault rifle.

“He was declared brought dead at the Badami Bagh cantonment hospital and there I came to know that an entire magazine was emptied on his back following a scuffle between him and Yasin Malik,” she said.

Shalini said Flight Lieutenant BR Sharma, who was with her husband, told her that Yasin Malik was behind the attack.

“He told me that Malik was leading the attackers and had sought directions for Nattipora from my husband. Ravi was giving him directions in a friendly manner when Malik fired first bullet in his abdomen. Following a scuffle, Malik emptied an entire magazine on my husband’s back,” she said.

Shalini said she felt bad when the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh shook hands with Yasin Malik on February 17, 2006.

“I didn’t expect him to shake hands with a terrorist. Being a PM he should have known the difference between right and wrong. When Manmohan Singh shook hands with Malik, I felt a grave insult to the supreme sacrifice of my husband. It felt as if the entire world mocked at me but then they were into negotiations with him to run their Kashmir agenda,” she said.

“My husband saw his daughter after six months of her birth but who cares. Slogans of Zindabad and Amar Rahe don’t feed empty stomach of families and children of martyrs,” she said.

She, however, exuded confidence that after three decades justice will be finally delivered to her.

“My son and daughter were too young, around eight and six-year-old respectively, at that time and my mother-in-law, father-in-law and my mother passed away in quick succession following killing of my husband. I have gone through lot of problems for three decades. I had the responsibility of raising two little children and I had to make them good citizens. So, I burnt midnight oil. I lived a faqir’s (saint’s) life after my husband’s death. I was 38-year-old at that time,” she said.
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