He brought a pack of tea and gave it to his wife. Then he stepped out of his house for a while, but was arrested. He was released after two months. On returning home, he found the pack still unopened. There had been no money in the house to buy milk.
That is how Muhammad Sidiq Bangroo lived.
He was outspoken and brave. When Jawaharlal Nehru came to Srinagar in 1948 to the welcoming notes of a by-now well-known Persian couplet recited by Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, Bangroo and his friend Muhammad Yusuf Sheikh appeared in Lal Chowk where the stage had been erected and chanted Pakistan Zindabad. The duo also shouted ‘Rai Shumari Karao’.
Usually, such heroics would invite death at the hands of NC toughs, but the duo managed to escape, leaving Nehru, Sheikh Abdullah, and his lieutenant, Bakhshi Ghulam Muhammad, stunned.
In 1963, Bangroo and a few others went across to Pakistan to seek arms training. But on their return, the party (the Political Conference) did not accord them welcome. On the contrary, the party leadership ridiculed them for violating norms. It even hatched a conspiracy to hand Bangroo over to the police.
But he met Ghulam Ahmad Mir who sent him to Ghulam Nabi Kar. Bangroo apologised for seeking arms training, and went to the police station and tore his new clothes.
In the evening, Sheikh Ghulam Qadir Gandarbali, who headed the special force, arrived and spotted him.
“What has happened to you?” he asked.
The question staggered Bangroo.
“Sir, I had gone to Jammu to escape the wrath of my in-laws,” he replied. “They did this to me.”
He was kept in the police station for 2 days, and then released.
This surprised his relatives and associates. Had the Sheikh come to know that he had returned from Pakistan, his fate would have quite different. When a UN mission visited Kashmir during Bakhshi’s rule, his workers raised slogans against it. “Go back”, they chanted.
But somehow, Bangroo managed to hand over a memorandum to the team.
Living from hand to mouth, he would sell his rations from the ghat (government depot) to meet his other expenses.
He was one of the few persons to court arrest when Sheikh Abdullah was put under arrest on returning from Hajj in 1964. The others were Ghulam Nabi Kar, Muhammad Yusuf Sheikh, Ghulam Muhammad Thagoo and Abdul Ahad.
His father, Muhammad Abdullah, who raised his family in his native Waniyar area of Safa Kadal, had been a person of too modest means to afford Bangroo a suitable education.
Muhammad Sidiq passed away on April 3, 2010 at the age of 80.