Sound of explosions, gun-fire woke Jalalabad residents up during Sehri time

JKP dealt with situation in mature, professional manner, say witnesses
Sound of explosions, gun-fire woke Jalalabad residents up during Sehri time
A man shows empty bullet cartridges near the gunfight site in Jammu's Sunjwan. Mir Imran for Greater Kashmir

Jammu: Sound of big explosions, gunfire woke the residents of Jalalabad area in Sunjwan up during Sehri time only to find them in a horrible situation in the lurking presence of heavily-armed militants on Friday.

The area was under complete cordon launched by the security forces. Every spot was being monitored. Drones were hovering around when the people came out of their houses or perched atop the rooftops to see what had happened. They had no clue what was going to happen next.

The unimaginable situation was not less than a shock for the residents, who were habitual of waking-up to the call for Sehri time during Ramadan, an eyewitness said.

They said the security forces had cordoned the entire area. They were conducting house-to-house searches to eliminate the militants who had escaped after carrying out the first attack on the joint party of CISF and JKP on Sunjwan road. After that they (militants) ran to hide in a washroom in a house where a woman was alone with her two daughters. It was the family of Anwar Hussain.

Anwar himself was in utter shock when he returned home and saw the condition of his house and the members of family. But he was satisfied that his wife and two daughters were safely rescued out of the house by the J&K Police before the encounter broke out.

“I was not present in my house when the militants entered. I received a call from my wife who reported that she had heard gunshots nearby and was hiding inside the room with the daughters,” he recalled.

Later, he said that he received another call from his wife’s cell. This call was made by some JKP personnel. “They wanted to know about my whereabouts. They rescued my wife and daughters and then completed their operation without causing damage to anyone. We are proud of them,” he added while speaking to Greater Kashmir.

Zubair Malik, a relative of Anwar Hussain, also narrated a similar horrible experience when the area was under cordon and the encounter was in progress between the militants and the security forces.

All the people appreciated the role of security forces particularly J&K Police for first rescuing the trapped civilians in the nearby houses - close to the encounter site.

“We heard an explosion around 3:30 am. It was the time, when we apprehended that the militants had fired upon the joint naka of CISF and JKP on the main road in Jalalabad in Sunjwan. This is a routine naka but the firing or explosion was not a common thing for us,” he said.

He said that hardly 300 meters away from his house, was the house of his uncle Anwar Hussain. “His washroom was located at the back side and there two Jaish militants were gunned down by the security forces. I’ve come to uncle’s house to see if everything is fine,” he informs.

“When the encounter ended, I came running here to know about the wellbeing of my relatives. However, they all are fine although the window panes and water tanks were damaged during firing,” he added.

Another local resident, who wished not to be quoted, said, “We were scared when we heard the first explosion. We did not know whether it was a grenade blast or firing, but the situation was scary. All members of the family were in panic but we did not come out.”

He said that he peeped out of the window of his house and saw heavy deployment of security forces.

“It was a sign that something was seriously wrong in my locality,” he said and cautioned the family members against going out.

When he was narrating his experience, a local police team was seen collecting evidence and looking for things which might cause damage to the people.

“Please leave, it’s not safe here,” one of the police officers politely requested the journalists who were there to cover the encounter.

As the team of journalists representing different organizations came out of the house towards the main road, they saw the walls of the house, a SUV parked in the neighbouring house, walls hit with the bullets while a police van was badly damaged with an explosion.

Sunjwan road was blocked for any kind of vehicular movement till the conclusion of the encounter.

However, the locals were happy with the security forces, who evacuated the civilians first and then proceeded with their operation.

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