Shafat MirAnantnag, June 23:
Muhammad Yousuf Rather, 55, the house owner where militants had taken refuge, and his wife, Rafiqa Bano were the first ones, who were showered bullets by the troops at Srigufwaraon Friday, witnesses said.
Yousuf, died on way to the hospital due to excessive loss of blood, while his wife Rafiqa was first taken to district hospital Anantnag, where from she was referred to SKIMS for specialized treatment for a bullet wound in her right hand.
She was discharged from the hospital on Saturday morning and brought to her residence here in Nowshera Khiram where people jostled to console her for losing her husband.
Thousands of people turned up for second consecutive day at Nowhsera Khiram village of Srigufwara in Anantnag district where four ISJK militants, a civilian and a policeman died in six-hour long gunfight on Friday.
The-one storey house of Rather was destroyed, as according to locals, it was set ablaze by the government forces to kill the hiding militants.
Rafiqa, with her arm plastered, bandaged and tied to the chest, is unable to move or sit properly and is being supported by three women besides in a tent erected in their lawn.
She says the forces ordered them to open doors, windows and also asked them to switch on all lights in the house and afterward when they came out, fired bullets without any warning.
“As soon as we found our house encircled and forces personnel taking positions in our courtyard, my husband and I decided to rush out the house along with our son. The army men ordered us to switch on all lights in our house to illuminate rooms as it was still dark outside. After following their orders, we ran toward the main door, and the army personnel fired barrage of bullets toward our house, one of which hit me. I saw my husband also falling on our porch where both of us lay bleeding. Afterward, I have no idea how I was taken out of the house and when I landed in a Srinagar hospital,” Rafiqa says in a feeble voice as her relatives and neighbours present in the tent breakdown.
“I lost my husband, the house which he had built with his blood and sweat. My only son has been tortured by the police in custody, leaving him half dead. I don’t want anything, other than my son. Please ensure his release as he is all I have now,” she says.
Rafiqa’s son, Sayar Ahmed, was holed up inside his house for more than an hour where the encounter took place, as the government forces did not allow him to come out, locals said.
He was also ordered to come out an hour later and instantly taken away by the SOG men and detained at JIC Khanabal where he was tortured severely and later allowed to join the funeral of his father.
However, he was directed to report back with police in the morning.
On Saturday morning, he was hospitalized at Sub District Hospital Bijbehara for torture wounds.
Meanwhile, all shops and other business establishments remained shut in Doechinpora belt, including Sallar, Kullar, Srigufwara, Kanelwan and Bijbehara areas of Anantnag district to mourn the civilian and militant killings.