• Burhan Wani’s Junior Tops Kashmir Class 12 Board Exams

    Shaheera Ahmed’s face spreads into a determined smile as she says that Kashmir’s ongoing insurgency and turmoil couldn’t keep her from her studies. In a way, it was her life, the only truth she knew. The 18-year-old topped Kashmir‘s State Board class 12 exams, scoring a whopping 498 out of 500. Shaheera attended the same school as the Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani. She achieved such incredible grades even after her school was closed for five months in this academic year – a repercussion owing to the killing of Wani in July 2016 by the security forces.

    Shaheera attended the same school as the Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani. She achieved such incredible grades even after her school was closed for five months in this academic year

    In an interview with NDTV, the prodigy said, “I had made up my mind that I have to study. I didn’t allow myself to get distracted.”

    Blaring loudspeakers, continuous music playing at nearby mosques, nothing disturbed her. Shaheera added, “These are situations I have grown up in. I only continued my studies.”

    She had consistently been an exceptional student and had come second in Kashmir’s Class 10 board exams in 2014

    She had consistently been an exceptional student and had come second in Kashmir’s Class 10 board exams in 2014. Her family members were worried that the unrest might adversely affect her performance this time, but Shaheera came out with flying colours.

    In the interview her mother, Tasleema says, “Only we know the circumstances she continued her studies in. It was not easy, but she didn’t lose focus.”

    Shaheera is a native of Dadsara village in Tral, a town known to foster separatist concerns. Dozens of terrorists have been killed in the village because of this reason. But 21-year-old Burhan Wani’s death aggravated the unrest in the state that forced schools to close down for months on end. In such a situation, community classes with different teachers in her village helped Shaheera to complete her syllabus.

    Read More by Amrita Paul