"The school was declared closed on that day"
Oneindia first met Zakir, who runs an Internet cafe in Dras. During the Indo-Pak armed conflict of 1999, he was a 15-year-old boy studying in Standard VIII. Speaking to Oneindia, Zakir said: "We were in the school at that time and it was in the afternoon. We just finished our lunch when he heard the explosions."
"We had no idea about what was happening. Our teacher said riots have broken out and asked us to go home. We still had no idea that it was a military conflict between Pakistan and our country. We witnessed bombings and explosions the entire night. It was a terrible night. Our army had shifted us to safer places," Zakir added.
"I was very frightened and ran away"
Ghulam Kadir, a resident of a village Taloling, Tiger Hill, where the military clashes took place, was seven at the time. A 22-year-old man aspiring to become an IAS officer today, Kadir still feels a shock when he remembers those days.
"I ran away from my home and kept on running. I remember an army jawan stopped me and even scolded me for running amid the shelling. When I returned home, my mother was shocked to see me in such a state. When I think about those days, I don't get sleep even today," Kadir said.
Zakir and Kadir are not the only youths here who carry the unhappy memory of 1999. Ask any people in the vicinity and you will hear the echo of what they said. Through the bone-chilling sight and sounds of shelling and combing, these youths have already undergone a life-changing experience and they don't want to taste it again.