BUDGAM: The family members belonging to the ‘minority community’ of Wadwan, Budgam, where a cop was killed last week, have alleged that the authorities have not fulfilled their promises and have accused them of being least bothered to redress the family’s pleas.
On Friday last, a cop was killed after militants attacked policemen guarding the minority picket at Wadwan in central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
Talking to Kashmir Reader, the house owner, Autar Kishan Kaul, said, “Soon after the attack was carried out on policemen guarding us, in which one was killed, the district administration and the minister for Relief and Rehabilitation asked us to wind up our belongings and go away from here.
“We did not agree to leave the place where we have been living since centuries. But the authorities forcefully provoked us into vacating the place,” Kaul said.
“They motivated us with the promise that they will provide us an ‘alternative sheltering place’, where we can live and carry on our work smoothly,” he said, adding, “but till date, the promises proved to be hollow.”
“The authorities have promised us that we will be given residential quarters and a much safer place to live in, but they have not paid any heed to us till date,” Autar alleged.
He alleged that the authorities are least bothered about their sufferings. “We have been living here since the very first day and were never threatened by anyone, even though the area was a hotbed of militancy during the 90s.
“We have been living a peaceful life with the Muslims here and are like brothers. But we are being dragged out of this atmosphere forcefully,” he said.
“We are want to tell the government that we do not want to shift anywhere, that we are safe at our own place without security,” he said.
Recalling the incident that happened that day, Kaul said, “On that fateful day, my mother and I were at home. The rest of the family was away on some personal work.
At around 1:40 pm, Koul said he asked his mother to prepare lunch. “Within a few minutes, we were done,” he said.
After finishing the lunch, Koul said he left for a neighbour’s house to fetch some vegetable saplings.
“After cracking some jokes with them, I returned,” he said.
“Back at home, I was washing my hands in a stream next to my house before going inside. After a minute I heard a sound. At first I thought that it may be the sound of fire crackers. But when the initial sound was followed by others, I quickly went to find out what had actually happened.
“It was a terrible scene; a few gunmen were on the lawn in front of the house, where guards were taking shelter. I ran inside to take shelter myself,” he says, narrating how they stayed inside the house frightened and huddled for quite some time after the shots sounded.
Finally when the guns stopped roaring, he somehow found the courage to come out to see what had happened. What he saw was a man lying in a pool of blood.
“When I came closer, I saw that one of the cops, Shamim Ahmad, had been shot dead in his back by militants, who had left the spot,” he recalled.
“Shamin had made ablution and was going for prayers at the local mosque. He was unarmed and defenceless,” an eyewitness said.
However, the Deputy Commissioner, Budgam, and the minister for Relief and Rehabilitation could not be contacted for comments, despite repeated calls.