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'We're lucky to be alive'

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
April 06, 2005 22:53 IST
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Farhat Ara, 50, is a worried person. Her husband, Syed Zain-ul-Abbadin, 60, a retired school headmaster, is one of the Muzaffarabad-bound passengers who had a miraculous escape when militants attacked the Tourist Reception Centre where the passengers had been staying.

Incidentally, Farhat had gone to visit her husband at the TRC when the attack happened.

Images: Attack on peace drive | The Road to Peace

"I was inside the building with my husband. It was a dangerous situation. The fire was spreading fast. Security men came and asked us to leave the building immediately through the rear exit. It was a miracle my husband and I am alive," she said.

When the local police party knocked at their Jehangir Chowk residence last Sunday saying that they had come to escort her husband to a safer location, Farhat said she had a "woman's hunch that things would go wrong."

4 militant outfits behind attack

Her fears came true on Wednesday.

"I had told the police that perhaps the travel was not worth the risk if my husband had to be kept under security like some politician. I was not allowed to meet my husband after he was escorted out of the house till today," she recalls.

Farhat is now more skeptical about her husband's travel to Muzaffarabad. "What use is seeing your relatives if your family on this side faces danger?" she wonders.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar