There is the usual rush in the lanes of Batla House in Jamia Nagar but an elderly resident says Jamia has never looked so spiritless a week before Eid.
“Nobody seems to be interested in Eid,” says Yusuf Khan, who lives close L-18, the flat that saw an encounter last Friday.
A week later, barricades continue to restrict entry of vehicles on both the ends of the Khalilullah mosque lane. It is still a spot passersby stop by to get a glimpse of.
The number of policemen has, however, come down from 12 to six. Now they are only guarding the building that has L-18 on the top floor and three other families on the first, second and third.
“These families are in a complete state of shock. They have not moved out of the building. Maybe they are not allowed to. They are not even talking to us,” said Rehman, a neighbour.
Unlike last Friday, many neighbours were willing to talk now but on the condition of anonymity. “We wanted to speak out on the day of the incident but there was police all around. We all have children, we fear for them,” said Shahid, another neighbour.
“But you all will see, truth will prevail, it will turn out to be a fake one. We have lost faith in the police. There is some hope from the media and judiciary. We are convinced beyond any doubt that it’s fake,” Shahid added. A day after the incident his wife left for her hometown with his 11-year-old baby. The site was disturbing her.
Shahid says they all heard an altercation between the police and the alleged militants before the shooting.
“They are lying that the boys started shooting at them indiscriminately. The police version is absolutely false,” said another neighbour.
The other few claim they heard a policeman shout from downstairs — “shoot him”. They also said of the two dead bodies — Atif’s body was covered with a shroud and Sajid’s body was wrapped in a bed sheet.
“Does police carry a shroud with them all the time? Atif was perhaps killed much before and was brought dead to the spot. The police was here since Thursday night,” Anees, another neighbour, said.
Even school-going children here are talking about it. There is no excitement for Eid among them, Yusuf said. “Most of us are hurt with what has happened. It has left us with pain. There is fear in the minds of our children. They ask questions that we don’t have answers to. We just want truth to prevail,” he added.
(All names changed to conceal identity)