The father of slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sameer Tiger has alleged government forces set his house ablaze during the early hours of Thursday, a week after soldiers warned him if he failed to send his other son to their neighbourhood camp.
Mohammad Maqbool Bhat says around 2:45am on Thursday sound of heavy footsteps shook him up from deep sleep at his home in Drabgam.
As he looked out of his window, Bhat saw his tin shed store outside in flames.
“I woke my family up and as we opened the door I saw fire on my porch, consuming the front door of my house,” Bhat said, adding that they jumped out from the window of his house to save themselves.
The family raised an alarm and soon neighbours rushed out of their homes and tried to put the fire out.
“With their help, we first put out the blaze from my house and then made a dash towards the shed,” Bhat said.
A fire truck, according to the residents, arrived soon and doused the flames, but by then everything in the shed was reduced to ashes.
“We could not salvage anything. There were hundreds of empty apple boxes, sheaves of hay grass and tarpaulins in the shed. Everything was consumed by the fire,” Bhat said.
Bhat accused government forces of torching his property.
“Army men from a nearby camp raided my house last week and warned me if my son did not show up at their camp they would set my house on fire,” said Bhat.
Even after the death of his militant son, Bhat said he was being frequently harassed by the army.
“My son was a militant and he was killed. Now I don’t understand why we are being victimised day in and day out?” Bhat asked.
A police official said a case has been registered and investigation was ongoing.
During Wednesday night, in a separate incident unknown persons tried to set on fire family home of an active militant Adil Ahmad in Maldair village of adjacent Shopian district.
The villagers blamed government forces for the arson attack.