'Papa, We Will Die Tonight'- A Survival Story of a Family Caught in Crossfire at Khudwani - Jkjobportal.com

Thursday, 12 April 2018

'Papa, We Will Die Tonight'- A Survival Story of a Family Caught in Crossfire at Khudwani

'Papa, We Will Die Tonight'- A Survival Story of a Family Caught in Crossfire at Khudwani by Kashmiriyat
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April 12
On Tuesday, around 1130 in the night, the joint team of 1 Rashtriya Rifles, CRPF and Special Operations Group of Jammu Kashmir police laid down a cordon at Wani Mohalla in Khudwani area of South Kashmir. After firing of nearly 16 hours, the operation was called off, nothing found.
Two Residential houses caught fire, in a civilian language, were burnt down by Government Forces. The Encounter took people by Surprise. Among them was Mohammed Yusuf Wani, whose house happens to be very next to the Encounter site.
“We have constructed a small house here. We woke up after we hear some gunshots followed by an unusual activity around the house. There were spot lights, sounds of feet crushing the ground,” says Yusuf.



The troops had installed Search Lights to not let the Militants take advantage of the darkness and escape. Yusuf says that he spent the entire night in the house along with his two daughters, a son and his wife. “We wept the entire night thinking every minute the next one will be the last,” Yusuf recalls.
Yusuf says that his daughter repeated many times that she was hit with a bullet and she was bleeding, but there was nothing, it was just fear. “We spent the entire night under the cement sink of our kitchen. Though there was no firing till 4 am, but then bullet shots reverberated once more.

“My Wife kept telling me that we all would die, and my eldest daughter kept praying the entire night” he said.
“We did not even dare to come out or ask anyone for help. We were caught in the cross fire,” Yusuf claimed.
“My Younger son kept asking for food, he cried and sobbed repeatedly, then I saw some eatables at a distance, I gathered courage, at around 4, tried to crawl across, but then the firing started, we were trapped,” Yusuf told The Kashmiriyat.
"Fixed in his memory, he said, "Give me Food"
Yusuf Replied, Sleep Son, Try to Sleep, I'll see you tomorrow, Son," 
"That tomorrow will never come," my daughter whispered.
"She let out a cry, a scream," Yusuf said, "and you couldn't hug or touch or calm her down, because there was no space in there."
“We ducked down and spent the entire night with the top of my head against the top of the kitchen sink,” he said.
Yusuf Wani says being the head of the family he tried to console his family, but whenever he succeeded, there was another activity, which included unusual noise, the sound of guns being loaded, the sound of fear and the noise of an inevitable catastrophe, may be death.
The entire night passed in fear and hope of life, praying and mourning of death. We somehow gathered courage after the first light of the morning and managed to escape through an open window on the back side of our house, he told The Kashmiriyat.



"I kept saying to myself, It does not look good. I don't think we are going to make it,'" he said, recalling the Tuesday Night.
“It's heart wrenching it really is I'm so thankful we walked out of this unharmed,” Yusuf said.

"There is just no way for me to explain how that many bullets went through our home and there's five of us and we're all standing and walking today," Yusuf said.
"I just believe it was God protecting us, honestly," he says.
The next morning many civilians were evacuated from the nearby houses who had spent an entire night in the crossfire between Militants and Government forces.
"You just never think your child will go through something like that,"Yusuf wishfully says.

As Encounter raged, Civilians came to streets protesting, trying to give a chance to Militants to escape the encounter site. In the struggle to save Militants, four civilians, Faisal Allie (15 years), A class 9th Student Bilal Ahmed Tantray (17 Years old), a class 12th Student, Aijaz Ahmed Pala, 30 years old and a father of a 7 Month old girl. A youth namely Sharjeel Ahmed Sheikh who was scheduled to be married on the 15th of April was also shot dead allegedly when he was coming out post a morning bath.
The Khudwani encounter has left empty plots scattered with rubble and cracks in buildings around. The rubble had once been a house that sheltered people.

The Forces burnt down and blasted the house in which Militants were hiding, which resulted in heavy damage to the houses nearby. The police and army have maintained that it is a safety measure to avoid booby traps and undetected militants who may take forces brushing the area by surprise.
“Collateral damage” has been a noticeable scene of most recent encounters - from civilian injuries, deaths to gutted houses.read source