Curfewed Night by Basharat Peer gives an account of life in Kashmir during the heights of insurgency in the 90s. Peer was born in a small village of Kashmir, where he grew up with his family. His father, a civil servant, worked hard to bring himself out of poverty and married the teacher�s daughter.
The book gives an account of how atrocities by Indian troops led to radicalisation of Kashmiri youth who ultimately took to militancy. During the insurgent movement of 1989, Kashmiri homes were raided illegally, women were raped and countless killings. The author chronicles these atrocities, including the bloody Gowkadal bridge massacre.
Although Peer was only 13 when insurgency in Kashmir broke out, he gives a detailed account of what it was like living in Kashmir at that time. He even gives his personal accounts of escapes from bullets and death. There is an unnerving episode described in the book where the author is shot four times in the back, only to survive and tell the tale later. Basharat Peer also elaborates on the many promises that Kashmir was given as a state, but never fulfilled. He talks about the promise of autonomy to the state, which meant that Kashmir had the right to manage its own affairs. However, slowly, the presence of troops in Kashmir was increased, thus taking away the autonomy granted. The guerrilla battle between Indian soldiers and Pakistani militants continues to this day, making life tough in the beautiful valley.
Peer has taken a lyrical approach to storytelling in the book, often bordering on melancholy that stirs up emotions. There are some moving accounts of people whose life changed dramatically post the 1990s. Curfewed Night has been published by RHI Publications and is available to buy online. The paperback edition of the book is listed with ISBN-10 number of 8184000901 and ISBN-13 number of 978-8184000900.