Bloody encounter takes toll on two houses

Bloody encounter takes toll on two houses

As smoke plumes rose up in the sky and dust of debris settled, women beat their breasts crying and youth pelted the police with stones in protest.

On Monday evening at Shadab Colony, Ahmadnagar on the outskirts of Srinagar, a 23-hour gun battle ended with the killing of two militants and two houses being burnt down. One paramilitary CRPF personnel and a policeman were injured at the start of the encounter on Sunday evening.

As soon as the cordon around the besieged area was lifted at around 5 pm on Monday, people from neighbouring areas rushed towards the site. Fire service personnel were doing their best to douse flames from the two houses.

Abdul Majid Rangrez, the house owner where the slain ultras had taken shelter, watched the episode in disbelief. “My entire life’s belongings have been reduced to ashes in a jiffy. What is my sin if militants forcibly took shelter in my house?” Rangrez told Deccan Herald.

Rangrez and his wife were trapped inside their house the entire night. He said the militants entered their house through a broken compound wall. “They entered my house only after being chased away by security forces and weren’t present here,” he claimed.

However, the scene at the house of Haji Bashir Ahmad was more tragic. His wailing wife was asking everybody why their three-storey house was burnt down by security forces. “We were asked by police to vacate the house in the morning and they told us it is for security reasons. If militants were hiding in some other house why we have been made homeless for no fault of ours?” Haji’s wife asked.

Agitated youth were talking to each other on mobile phones to organise protests against what they called the brutality of the security forces. Immediately after the encounter ended, youth started pelting stones on police on the North-South corridor.

“ If police claim they killed militants in encounter, why did they burn down houses? Isn’t this act of state terrorism to render someone shelterless?” asked a masked youth.

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