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I thought a bullet will hit me: Eyewitness
October 04, 2006 20:15 IST
Ganai rushed inside to take shelter but there was nothing he could have hidden himself behind. Ganai was among hundreds of people in Lal Chowk when fidayeen (members of the suicide squad) tried to storm the Dashnami Akhara building on Wednesday morning, leading to a fierce gun battle.
He said the sound of the blast was deafening. "For a moment, I thought the sound of the blast had ruptured my eardrums. The gunshots were so near that the bullets seemed to be going over my head. It was so close that I thought a bullet was going to hit me." Ganai has been working at the Rightways footwear for nearly ten years now.
He has come across such a situation on several occasions in the past, but as he said this one seemed like "certain death."
Ganai said that salesmen and owners of all the shops refused to come out despite being asked to do so by the security personnel who even offered them escort.
"The blast occurred at 10:55 am and till 11:45 am we were inside the shop. The customer was shivering and almost in tears. We agreed to come out only when a senior Jammu and Kashmir police official assured to give us protection and take us to safety.
"Our shops were later closed by the security personnel,'' he added.
A visibly shaken Ganai said he did not dare to look back towards the site of the gun battle as he was coming out of the shop. "I ran so fast as if I were taking part in a hundred meter dash,'' he added.
Ganai said Lal Chowk and other commercial centres in Srinagar are these days abuzz with business activities in view of the holy month of Ramzan and the approaching Eid-ul-Fitr.
"The entire Lal Chowk was full of people when the attack took place. I wonder how many are wounded," he said.