Uncle, mother narrate sequence of events

Uncle, mother narrate sequence of events
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Hajin: Abdul Hameed Mir, 60, the uncle of the killed 12-year-old Aatif Mir, was also held hostage by the militants in the two-storey house where he lived in Hajin. He told Kashmir Reader that the militants had been hiding in the house for the past three days.
“It was about 9am (Thursday) when army men tightened the siege around our house. I went to the militants upstairs and asked them to leave, but they dragged me by the collar of my pheran and took me to the attic. Aatif was already there. I remained there with my nephew from 9am to 6pm. In this time, Aatif was well and also talked with me. Meanwhile we heard announcements and appeals from my nephew’s mother and others. But we were not released. Even though I requested them (militants) that making us hostage won’t help you, and that they should release the kid and keep me captive, didn’t help. Though the militants initially fired some shots, they later remained quiet for most of the time. It was after the army men, who first brought their vehicle close to the house and fired bullets, which resulted in injuries to the two militants, that I could find my escape, though they (militants) were still good to fight,” Mir narrated.
“Before that, one of the militants went to another room to take position and we were left with the other militant, Ali. He, after some 10 minutes, directed me to move and go stay with the militant in the next room. I took the chance and straight away ran downstairs. Behind me I could hear the militant firing bullets at me. I got lucky, somehow wasn’t hit,” Mir said.
“As I came out, the army men cried out loudly that the old man has come out. They asked me to lift my hands and pheran and walk out. Till the time I came out, the army had at least fired twice at the house but the kid was safe. Maybe, after not finding me in the house, the kid may have lost all hope,” Mir said.
The mother of the kid, Shareefa, sat huddled with other women mourners in the house lawn, while the pungent smell of kerosene from the debris of the house rubble filled the air. She said, “Aatif was 12 years old and was studying in class 6 at Army Goodwill school Hajin. The militants were in the house for at least three days and Aatif would go to them often. As the cordon was tightened around our house on Thursday, we ran here and there but Aatif and his uncle were trapped in the house.”
“They (police) were scared of going inside so I went in and searched for my son, but I could find no one in the house as most of the doors were shut,” she said.
“Even after appeals from loudspeakers, no one came out. After a long time, his uncle managed to come out,” she said.
“My son would have been too scared to come out as there was firing going on all around. I don’t know if he was taken hostage by the militants for their benefit,” she said.
“The government forces tried to rescue my son but it could not happen,” she said.
The house was later reduced to rubble by government forces using explosives and later put on fire, locals said. The bodies of both militants and of the kid were charred beyond recognition, they said.
After doing medical formalities, the body of the child was handed over to his family.
Hundreds of people with moist eyes offered his funeral prayers at the local Eid Gah. Most of the kids present were seen crying, while women sang elegies and youths raised pro-freedom slogans.