Time for Correction

Centre should take decisive steps to prevent Kashmir’s youth from turning to terrorism

Fayaz Bukhari

The worst terror attack on Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy, which killed 40 jawans, has left Kashmir shocked. The fact that a Kashmiri boy, Adil Ahmad Dar, carried out the deadly suicide bombing, first time in 17 years that a local has been involved, has unnerved the people of Kashmir. They fear that this would lead to a dangerous trend in the land of Sufis.

The site of Pulwama bombing in Kashmir

Usually, suicide bombings are carried out by Islamist groups that follow the Salafi and Deobandi sects of Islam. Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) follows the Deobandi ideology, and such Islamist groups consider some of the Barelvi practices un-Islamic. Dar’s transition from peace loving Sufi to a suicide bomber signifies a dangerous trend.

Even Dar’s family and neighbours could not believe he had become a suicide bomber because he was a soft and decent young fellow who helped his family in daily chores. His father, Ghulam Hassan Dar, said, “When we heard we were shocked and pained by the killing of our son as well as the CRPF personnel. We feel the pain of the families of those who were killed in the attack,” he said.

Dar’s father said that his son was pushed into militancy. “I wanted my son to help me, but he was inclined towards militancy just like other children. He joined the militants along with his cousins Sameer Ahmad Dar and Touseef Ahmad Dar. We succeeded in getting one of them, Touseef, back and after two months he was picked up by the police and is now booked under Public Safety Act (PSA). Adil might have met the same fate had he returned home; maybe that’s why he refused to give up,” said a moist-eyed Dar.

Fahmeeda, mother of Adil, is in shock and pained to hear the news of her son. “We didn’t send him (to join militancy). No parent will send their children into militancy. He was beaten by Indian troops few years back when he was returning from school. He was studying in 10th standard that year. This led to anger in him against the forces,” she said.

For the police, he was a like other Kashmiri militants who were killed last year without much resistance during gun battles with the security forces. Not many would have imagined that a young boy who dropped out of school and would at times lead prayers in the local masjid would one day blow himself up.

Dar crashed an explosive-laden vehicle into a CRPF convoy at Lethpora in Pulwama, killing 40 personnel. The CRPF convoy of 78 vehicles, carrying 2,547 personnel, had left for Srinagar from Jammu early in the morning, in regular vehicles, as there was a shortage of bullet-proof vehicles.

Usually, after crossing Jawahar Tunnel, troops travelling in a convoy are shifted to bullet-proof vehicles for their onward journey. But on that day, as the convoy was larger than usual, only some of them could be moved into bunker vehicles as the highway was closed for several days before the attack.

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