“Eyewitnesses tell horrific account of pulwama massacre”
Srinagar, December 18: It took Indian troops and police personnel just 15 minutes to finish the violent cordon and search operation in apple orchards in Pulwama district, which followed the bloodbath in Kharpora-Sirnoo area of the district on Saturday.
One after another teenagers and men fell like helpless birds shot by a hunter. The first to fell was a 14-year-old student, Aaqib Bashir, witnesses said quoting reports of the Srinagar-based daily, the Kashmir Press.
He was followed by six more including Suhail Ahmad, Liyaqat, Abid Ahmad, Amir Ahmad, Touseef Ahmad Mir and Shahbaz Najar, the report said.
Shahbaz Najar was killed just opposite to the lane of his house. The bullets fired by Indian troops and police personnel went whizzing in all directions, witnesses said. The bullets hit the gates, shining corrugated tin sheet barriers, wooden doors, walls, leaving the indelible mark- the large bullet holes. The locals said it was a multi-layered cordon laid to knock down one of the most popular liberation leaders, Zahoor Ahmad Thoker.
When it began to dawn, Firdous Ahmad Najar, a school teacher, his brother and two more persons of the Kharpura village, allegedly got a knock at their door. “They whisked away me and my brother. Before leaving they told us to switch off our mobile phones. We left it back at our home,” Najar said. “On the way, the Indian troops beat both of us. And they also hurled invective on us for no reason”. Najar said a contingent of Indian army and police took them to the lone rickety structure which happened to be the poultry farm. It was located in the middle of dense apple orchards. “The army scanned the building, but they detected nothing,” he said. Afterwards, Najar said that the contingent took them along the high rise banks, covered with trees, of a rivulet bisecting the apple orchards.
“We saw piles of pruned branches and shrubs. When I walked through the woods, we were asked to shove aside the boughs aside. When we did, the Indian troops saw two gum boots under them. They were behind us. They got alerted and opened fire from a distance of 20 feet or so,” he said. “Few shots were fired from deep inside the earth. The Indian troops ran away from the spot and took position on the higher elevations”.
Adnan Hamid Butt and Bilal Ahmad were killed just close to the den. The third one, Zahoor Thoker, was killed near the Chinar (Kashmiri version of Maple) tree. The operation ended within 15 minutes,” he said. After the operation was over, we left the spot. We bowed before Allah that we were left unharmed, the eyewitness said.
According to the eyewitnesses, the Indian troops lifted the bodies of three youth and dumped them into their truck. Just before they were doing so, scores of boys from the nearby villages tried to reach there and raised slogans in favor of freedom. “There was no stone pelting as such going on there due to unavailability of stones,” witnesses said. There was nothing like a stone available there which could have been hurled on the Indian troops and police personnel, the report said. As the protests were going on, the Indian troops and police personnel opened direct fire on the protesters leaving four including 14-year-old Aaqib dead on the spot,” the witnesses said.