Pampore’s EDI building reduced to shattered glass, fractured walls | india | Hindustan Times
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Pampore’s EDI building reduced to shattered glass, fractured walls

Placing his feet carefully on shards of broken glass and broken flower pots, as Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) employee Saeem Khan enters the building on the outskirts of Srinagar a day after the encounter, he steps on a crumpled poster — ‘Start your business @0% hassle’.

india Updated: Feb 24, 2016 13:50 IST
Abhishek Saha
Damaged interiors of the EDI building where militants were holed up during a two-day gunfight in Pampore .
Damaged interiors of the EDI building where militants were holed up during a two-day gunfight in Pampore .(Waseem Andrabi/HT)

Placing his feet carefully on shards of broken glass and broken flower pots, as Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) employee Saeem Khan enters the building on the outskirts of Srinagar a day after the encounter, he steps on a crumpled poster — ‘Start your business @0% hassle’.

Constructed in 2006, the main building of the 15-acre EDI complex — where budding entrepreneurs are trained and incubated — was the spectator to what is said to be one of the longest gunbattles ever in Srinagar. The turquoise glass on the fourth storey of the building lay shattered and there was an overpowering smell of burnt objects all around.

Khan, who was trapped as three militants stormed the EDI building, returned on Tuesday afternoon to collect his bags and documents that he had left behind. He said, “I don’t know what to tell you. I was so scared that I basically don’t remember how badly I ran for protection. ”

Gaping bullet holes adorned the graphic cover images of the magazines resting on the stand. The ground floor walls stood fractured, hit by rocket launchers and grenades, and on the floor were glass pieces and broken doors.

On Tuesday afternoon, media professionals were allowed to enter the first floor of the EDI building as the search and sanitising operations came to an end. A top police officer said it was essential to check the site after an encounter as there may be non-blasted ammunitions that could create fatal explosions.

Apart from security personnel and mediapersons, the only people seen on campus were EDI employees like Khan who were trapped and later evacuated on Saturday evening when three militants, supposedly of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, stormed into the building. The militants, EDI employees said, had told them to leave behind their mobile phones while they fled.

Speaking on the loss to the building, EDI director MI Parray said the exact figure will be ascertained by engineers in the coming days, but accepted there had been major damage to data since many computers were destroyed in the firing.