A Day After The Siege, EDI Hosts an Emotional Reunion

KL NEWS NETWORK

PAMPORE

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EDI, a day after the siege. (Photo: Bilal Bahadur/KL)

Intermittently, the soldiers, cops and the employees jump to safety when a whistle is blown. It is time to hide as the troops are blasting the lethal residue that was left in the multi-storey EDI complex after three days of bloody encounter. These blasts, part of the clean-up operations, are going on since Monday evening and may take a few hours more.

The weekend encounter concluded Monday afternoon after all the three militants, holed up in the building were killed. The clash led to the killing of two CRPF personnel and three para-commandos including two captain rank officers. There were a number of other personnel who survived with injuries.

While the blasts are going on, EDI is functional. Most of its employees have reported to their duties and some of them picked up fight with the security men to let them in. These included women staffers as well. They went straightway to the rare of the building where the entire management discussed the way and means of resuming the operations. Director EDI Dr M I Parray who had flown to Srinagar from Jammu on Sunday itself presided over the meeting.

After an emotional reunion – 94 of the 95 trapped employees and visitors had providential escape, they first cleaned the spots where their slain colleague Abdul Gani fell to the bullets while being rescued.

Since the slain Gani was not a permanent employee of the institution – he was a gardener, EDI employees decided to contribute a day long salary to his family. Already the family has been assured that the well qualified daughter of the gardener would be adjusted against a suitable position.

After discussing various options available in the given situation, the EDI has decided that it will be fully operational within next three days. The staff has identified a portion of its hostel where the operations would be resumed. The staff said that they will first complete the on-going training of 160 potential entrepreneurs before taking up a new training course. The training, almost half done, would be completed in the hostel where a separate space has been identified to be converted into the training hall. Candidates who were being trained are being informed by the field staff about the date when their course will resume.

The most important revelation that the staff made was that the entire records of all the entrepreneurs who have been working with the EDI under various schemes are safe. They had been digitized under the routine courses and the entire records had been saved.

The main building that was the centre of the encounter is being closed for inspections and reconstruction once it is cleared off all the littered explosives and handed over to the management. Engineering department of the government will be assessing the losses and then rebuilding and restoration will start.

Apparently basement, ground, first and the second floor are untouched. Third floor and the fourth floor that is housing the machine room and the restaurant have suffered the maximum losses. Various kinds of projectiles fired on the building have created huge carters on its walls, otherwise pockmarked by the bullets, but the main edifice of the gigantic structure is safe.

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