After Blast, a Cracked House and Hopes at Pulwama

Kashmir police chief, IGP Vijay Kumar termed it as a major success to avert what many call the Pulwama 2.0. The diffused IED blast captured with a drone camera not only rattled the netizens, but also sent shockwaves in the immediate neighbourhood.

Photos by Shah Junaid / Qayoom Khan

FOR four consecutive years, Javed Ahmad Mir toiled hard in his paddy fields to construct a decent house for his family in Ayengund village of Pulwama. He put in sweat and blood in raising the house, brick by brick, dreaming of a good life with his wife and three young children. However, a loud bang on Thursday morning shattered Mir’s dreams, cracking his house and hopes.

Mir’s partially painted three-storey house lies in ruins today after a powerful IED explosion battered it, breaking doors and windows and causing a crack in the plinth.

“I’m devastated,” an inconsolable Mir told Kashmir Observer. “I spent my hard earned money to raise this house and today it lies in ruins.”

A farmer by profession, Mir has a family of four. His eldest son Mudasir is a medical student and younger one Athar is in sixth standard. His only daughter is a class 12 student.

Narrating the horror he witnessed since Wednesday night, Mir said that he and his family were having dinner when gunshots rattled the area around 9:45pm. Presuming it to be an attack on nearby Rajpora police station, Mir asked his family to finish their dinner quickly.

“Around 20 minutes later, a posse of security men knocked the main gate of our house,” Mir continued. “The cops told me that their officer wants to see me. My family pleaded before them not to take me away. They left and returned later with my brother Bilal Ahmad and neighbor Nisar Ahmad.”

He said all of them were escorted to meet a senior officer. The officer, he said, gave a torch to his brother and asked him to check the number plate of the car parked around 30 feet from his house.

“My brother went near the car, captured the video and gave it to the officer. Around 2am, cops released us and asked us to stay indoors saying that the car was carrying an IED,” Mir added.

Kashmir Observer reached out to the district police for their comments on the incident. A top officer refused, saying IGP Kashmir would brief the press soon.

Complimenting all the security agencies for the “successful operation”, IGP Kashmir, Vijay Kumar in a presser on Thursday informed that a timely action averted a major tragedy. “A suicide attacker jumped two checkpoints before leaving the vehicle behind late night yesterday at Ayegund area of Rajpora, Pulwama,” IGP Kumar said.

At least 40 to 45 kg of explosive material were fitted in the vehicle, he said, and a blast could’ve been similar to the 2019 Pulwama explosion in south Kashmir that killed 40 CRPF personnel.

“They [militants] were planning the suicide attack on 17th of Ramadhan [Jang-e-Badr],” IGP said, “but couldn’t do it due to our intensified operations against militants.”

Meanwhile, Mir termed the hours before the blast as a long horrifying night.

“We couldn’t sleep at all,” he said. “All of us were huddled in a room waiting for the sun to rise.”

Around 7am, Mir said that security personnel asked him to leave the house with his family and cattle towards a safer place. Minutes later, he said he heard a deafening sound and a thick curls of smoke emerging near his house.

“When I visited my house again, the doors and windows were broken into pieces, glasses strewn in all the rooms. Everything lied shattered and scattered,” he lamented.

Many locals who visited Mir in flocks to express their solidarity with him claimed that the damage to the houses, including Mir’s could have been avoided, if the government forces had taken all the precautions and taken the car to a desolate place before diffusing the IED it carried.

“There’s a huge chunk of barren land where the IED could have been diffused,” Muzaffar Ahmad, a local said. “Why did they choose the village and caused damage to the house?”

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