In villages surrounding Pulwama, site of the February 14 suicide bombing, ordinary Kashmiris seek an end to daily violence but that is not happening.
Pulwama is located in the India-administered Kashmir. 40-year-old Hamida, a resident of Pulwama, would sink with nervousness, fearing that her 20-year-old rebel son might be one of those involved whenever there would be a gun battle in the area.
On the evening of February 14, she was milking her cows when a suicide bomber, only 10km away from her home, hit his explosives-laden car into one of the buses transporting Indian armed forces in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Hamida speaksthat the news of the attack shook her, but she was not as fidgety since she trusted her son would never become a suicide bomber.
It was only the second time in the 30-year history of the Kashmir battle that a local boy had blown himself up while targeting Indian forces.
In a similar incident to this occurred in 2001 when Afaq Shah took his car filled with explosives to the entry of the largest Indian army cantonment in Srinagar city and blew himself up.
In Kashmir, most of the suicide bombings (“fidayeen” attacks as to what they are locally called) have been carried out by foreign rebels and not the residents of the place.
However, the February 14 suicide attack in Pulwama that assassinated 42 Indian personnel showed a modification in the nature of Kashmir’s armed rebellion, now marked by local boys willing to take extreme steps as this issue is nowhere to be resolved in the coming future.
The bomber, Hamida’s son Adil Dar, conducted out the deadliest ever attack in Kashmir, which has caused extreme strained relations between India and Pakistan.
The nuclear-armed South Asian neighbors have been hostile towards each other for seven decades now over the Himalayan region of Kashmir, now one of the most militarized zones in the world.
The armed rebels in India-administered Kashmir want either independence or a merger with Pakistan.
“She is in deep shock,” says Hamida’s sister as the news reached Dar’s family.
Amongst her three sons, Hamida defines Adil as the calmer one. She said that he was constantlywilling to help her with chores and wanted to attain something in life.
Police archives also show analike profile of Adil: “a not-so-orthodox Muslim, who did not offer prayers regularly and was obedient to his family”.
“I did not have a daughter. He helped me in home chores. He worked hard and was a big fan of cricket. He liked the Indian cricket team. He would burst crackers when India would win,” his mother Hamida has stated.
“One fine day in March last year, he left home and never showed up again.”
“When I heard that he has joined the rebels, I searched for him for a month, waited for him but he did not return. Then, I left it to God,” she further addded.
“Who wants their children to pick up a gun and invite death? What does the death of a young son mean to his parents?”, GHULAM HASSAN DAR, PULWAMA BOMBER’S FATHER said.
Adil’s father Ghulam Hassan Dar, aged 50 is a weak man with clipped white beard who talked to the reporters regarding this incident.
He claims it is the “zulm” (oppression in Urdu) in Kashmir and their weathering living conditions that is compelling youngsters to pick up guns and become rebels.
“Tell me, who does not want his son to become a doctor, an engineer or something, to stand on his own feet? Who wants their children to pick up a gun and invite death? What does the death of a young son mean to his parents?” he asks media and administrators of both the countries.
Dar declaresthat he is deeply distressed by the assassinations of Indian forces and strainsupon a “solution to the Kashmir dispute once for all to save more lives”.
“We are tired. Everyone is. We want an end to it,” he further added as others in the room, containing his other two sons, shook their heads in agreement.
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17 November, 2019