House razed to ground despite no militant presence, says Ratnipora family

House razed to ground despite no militant presence, says Ratnipora family
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Impoverished family lost everything they had

Pulwama: A family from Ratnipora in Pulwama district, who lost their house to a nocturnal gunfight in village peripheries on Monday night, has been left shattered as the family lost all their belongings along with the house to the gunbattle.
The family members claim that there was no militant in their houses despite that their house was targeted and blasted by the government forces.
The six-member family of Muhammad Yousuf Bhat has become homeless since the day and are living in a neighbour’s house. Yousuf, the lone breadearner of the family is suffering from a disc problem.
“We heard a gunshot around 2am and then rose with the roars of massive firing around 3:30am. At the same time we heard a neighbour shouting at our gate asking us to open it. As I went outside to open the gate, troops barged into our house without telling us the reason and some of them were shouting ‘don’t remove them, burn them alive in the house’,” Yousuf said, adding that the neighbour had been forced by the forces to call us at the door.
Bhat said that the family members were kept on snow in freezing cold till morning.
“We spent all earnings of my life to build a single story house over seven years but forces razed it within minutes,” he said.
Two of her daughters are studying, he said, one pursuing graduation and another has completed Masters, even as he earns his livelihood by working as a labourer (kanda-man) at a local government store where he is paid Rs 400 a day (three to four days a week). Besides, he said, he leads prayers at a local mosque where he is paid some honorarium.
The family lost all their belongings, including clothes and household things, apart from books worth at least Rs50000. Village residents said Yousuf spend most of his earnings on the education of his children.
They added that the family has no land, business or government job.
“The family is supposed to compromise on the earnings of Muhammad Yousuf, he even being an impoverished man doesn’t leave any stone unturned to give education to his daughters who were now about to get married but this loss of his house and property has brought the sky falling on them,” Bilal Ahmad, a local reisdent said.
Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, Ghulam Muhammad Dar told Kashmir Reader that the family has to apply with this office, and after checking all the angles like the police report, the family would be compensated.
“They have to make a file on this for compensation. There is no need of report from Revenue (authorities) till there is no dispute in the other reports,” he said.