Kulgam Killing: Who was Dawood Sheikh?

Aakash Hassan

KULGAM

thousands attend funeral of slain militant in qiamoh kulgam (16)
Funeral of Dawood Sheikh. (Photos: Shah Hilal)

Barely 15 hours after forces killed Hizb’s top militant, Dawood Sheikh alias Furkan, in a brief gunfight at Kulgam’s Buchroo village, thousands turned up in south Kashmir’s Qaimo Monday to be the part of his funeral.

Amid slogans, many spoke about the ‘making of the militant’—who till 2013, was the boy-next-door, aspiring to be an engineer.

Among the mourners were his three brothers and mother.

Women mourners at Dawood's funeral.
Women mourners at Dawood’s funeral.

For police, Qaimo’s Dawood, 21, was one among the “listed” stone-pelters of his area. He first figured in police record when he was in Class 11. His friends recalled that whenever any incident of stone pelting would take place in Qaimo, “Dawood would be summoned to the local police post”.

By summer 2014, one of his relatives said, Dawood was detained by police’s SOG for some questioning. “He was released around noon that day,” he said. “After an hour, Dawood sent shockwaves around when he shot dead one of the army officers, a known counterinsurgent.”

Thousands turned up for Dawood's funeral.
Thousands turned up for Dawood’s funeral.

Shortly he joined Hizb and was since then active in the area. Over the years, he rose to become HM’s area commander for Kulgam and was involved in many militant attacks.

Dawood was the member of Burhan group and had surfaced in many videos. In one of the videos, he could be seen offering Nimaz and in another, posing with his AK-47 with other two militants.

“He was very witty and tech-savvy guy, studying non-medical and aspiring  to become an engineer,” said his brother. “My brother was car enthusiast and was good at driving.” Dawood, his brother said, was popular among his peer group for charity works, too.

“But then,” said his friend, “the transformation took place after he found himself trapped in a tricky situation.”

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