SRINAGAR: The police have not made any details public about the Monday night killing of two unidentified persons at Sarai Bala in Srinagar city. The landlady of the house where one of the two men was killed and the other dragged out before being shot dead, says that they had been her tenants since Saturday.
“On Saturday the two persons came to us for a room on rent. We let them a room on the fourth floor. They told us that they had come here for an examination which would be held in the coming days. Whenever we went to their room, we found them studying,” said Sabreena, the landlady.
The house is located in the congested area of Sarai Bala, just a few kilometers away from the civil secretariat. Sabreena lives with her mother and two brothers, one of whom was taken away by police on Monday night. Sabreena’s father, Ghulam Mohammad Hakeem, died a few months ago.
What happened on Monday night? Sabreena says that it was past 9pm when she spotted men in uniform outside her house. Their presence was taken as usual and ignored.
“After we finished our dinner, I looked out through a window. I saw more men in uniform this time. I informed my brother about it but he did not pay attention,” Sabreena told Kashmir Reader. “Five minutes later, there was a knock on our door. When I opened the door, I saw a man holding a gun. He began asking me details about the house members. When I told him that we have tenants living here, the man cocked his gun, and told me to show their room. My brother Burhan went upstairs with them. Few minutes later, we heard gunshots,” Sabreena said.
“Other armed men came inside who told us to leave if we wanted to save our lives. We inquired about our brother, but they said he would be safe. Then they dragged down one of the tenants who was screaming be na chus ni mujahid, mae neev rattit magar, mae me maeriv (I am not a militant. Arrest me but don’t kill me). We then left home. When we came back we found our home ransacked and gold items stolen,” Sabreena said.
Locals said that the person was then taken on the main road and shot there. Ali Mohammad, a resident of the area, said that he heard three rounds of gunshots intermittently.
A shutdown is being observed in and around the Sarai Bala area in protest of the killings.
On Tuesday, people came out on roads and shouted pro-freedom slogans, which were also blared from mosque loudspeakers. They repeatedly asked why did the police not hand over the dead bodies and why are their identities being kept hidden?
People also wished to offer funeral prayers for the slain duo.
Inspector-General of Police Kashmir range Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani did not respond to repeated calls from this newspaper. Superintendent of Police Sandeep’s phone was answered by his operator who said that “sir is busy, call him later.” On Monday evening, the phone call made by this reporter was received by the same operator who made the same statement.
A local newspaper quoted Director-General of Police K Rajendera as saying that he had information about the presence of two militants in Saria Bala area and both have been eliminated. He identified one person as Saifullah, a Jaish-e-Muhammad commander, and said the identity of the second militant was being established.
“He seems to be a foreigner,” the DGP said, adding that one AK 47 Rifle, one pistol and some other weapons were recovered from the encounter site. The DGP said no militant was arrested alive from the spot.