Forces humiliated, tortured my son: Father of slain Fateh Kadal civilian
Shutters are down with the slogans dotting every closed shop--from Burhan Wani to Manan Wani, Zakir Musa to Sadam Padder, Hizb to Lashker to Azadi. This is Fateh Kadal area of Downtown area of summer capital, Srinagar on Thursday.
Forces are deployed in heavy number, guiding the silent alleys of Downtown's Fateh Kadal. All the entry points leading to otherwise busy area, where a top militant commander, his aide, a policemen and a civilian were among four persons killed during a fierce encounter on early Wednesday morning, have been sealed. The houses in this otherwise hustling and bustling city present a gloomy picture. The inhabitants are frightened, watching the movement on the roads very silently from the broken window panes of their houses.
People, mourners, relatives who have made it to Habibullah Hanga's locality in Fateh Kadal are housed in a community hall. Representatives of various religious, separatist groups too have gathered to express their condolences and stand in solidarity" with the bereaved family in Fateh Kadal. Hanga who had suffered heart attack after forces had barged into his house on Wednesday night stands up for the mourners and asks them "to stay calm and accept the God's will." Holding 11 months-old-son, Mehran, of his slain son, Rayees Habibullah to his chest, Hanga greets him with moistened eyes. "Asalam Alikum moun zuv." and cries bitterly. "Who stole our peace."
When a knock at the door turns gloomy
Narrating the horrifying details of the fateful night, Hanga says that a knock at the door turns took away everything from their life.
“…..There was some movement outside. Somebody was knocking the door....my wife Shakeela told me. I wasn't well. I went upstairs and called both my sons, Rayees and Mudasir and asked them weather something was wrong in the house. They denied of any such thing," he says.
"We all went downstairs, opened the door and forces personnel barged. They were shouting, where are militants. I asked them there isn't any militant in the house. They kept asking Haajji, ask your sons. Meanwhile Rayees had an argument with them. He was telling them there are ladies, children in the house. You can't enter like this. They dragged him out. That scene panicked me and I had a massive heart beating and I fell unconscious."
‘When father wakes up to his dead son’
"My youngster son asked me in a voice that conveyed both shock and disbelief. Without having to ask anything, I instinctively knew that he was referring to the some fateful incident at home. I told him is everything alright after i gained senses at the hospital," He nodded slowly.
"I gained some energy and stood up for Salah (Nimaz) at around 5:40 AM. Suddenly we heard some gun shots. I proceeded to offer prayers silently. Silent tears of hopelessness numb and scared both of us all at the time."
Hanga’s family alleged that Rayees was taken by the forces to be used as a “human shield” during the search. “They forcibly took him (Rayees) for searches in other houses,” says Shakeela, mother of the slain Rayees.
“I lost my biggest support,” says Ishrat, Rayees’s younsger sisiter.
The house in which militants had taken shelter was razed to ground as the forces, in order to neutralize the hiding militants, fired mortar shells. The slain militants were identified as Mehraj-ud-Din Bangroo son of Sanaullah Bangroo of Narparistan Fateh Kadal and Fahad Mushtaq Waza son of Mushtaq Ahmad Waza of Khanyar. Waza, a class 10th student, according to reports, joined militant ranks after he went missing from his home earlier this year. The news about the killing of militants sparked off massive clashes in several parts of the city. Police fired tear smoke shells to disperse the agitating youth. A group of media persons were also roughed up by the police, witnesses said. In Khanyar residence of Waza, hundreds of youth took to streets and fought pitched battles with deployed police and paramilitary troopers. Clashes were continuing in the area when this report was filed. Spontaneous shutdown was observed in several parts of the city with most of the shops closed while nominal movement of public transport was witnessed in civil lines and uptown areas.
Director General of Police, Dilbagh Singh had told reporters on the sidelines of wreath laying ceremony of slain police constable, that the two militants were eliminated during encounter at Fateh Kadal. He said the identity of two militants whose dead bodies were found near the encounter site was ascertained while third one is yet to be identified. “Bangroo was involved in several killings and weapon snatching incidents, two militants were identified while the identity of third militant is being ascertained,” said DGP.