Around 15 houses were razed by police and paramilitary forces during a gunfight with militants in Srinagar, the main city of the Kashmir Valley, on Tuesday morning, reports said.
In the gunfight that broke out in the wee hours on Saturday in a congested neighborhood of Nawakadal in the old parts of the city, the forces killed two militants. Of the two militants killed, police said, one is Junaid Sehrai, son of a prominent Hurriyat leader, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai.
The other militant has been identified as Tariq Ahmad, a resident of the restive town of Pulwama.
In the gun battle, the police said a paramilitary trooper and a policeman were injured in the encounter. They were rushed to a cantonment hospital for treatment.
Reports said that the forces used explosives to blow up the house where militants were put up. A huge fire ignited by the explosion spread and engulfed 15 nearby structures and reduced them to rubble in a flash.
Social media was full of visuals showing smoldering rubble of buildings as locals and firemen were engaged in clearing the debris.
One video that has been widely shared on the social media shows women alleging that the forces stole their belongings while they were forced out of their homes in the middle of night.
“They came at 2:30 AM into the lane and then entered homes and asked us to vacate,” a woman flanked by her neighbors says. “They did not allow us to even take anything with us.”