by Umar Khurshid
Srinagar: With the victims of the Lethpora car bomb attack being laid to rest across India including Jammu and Kashmir, and the authorities busy probing the incident, it is the suicide bomber who is the sharp focus of the media. Now everybody wants to know who the bomber was and how he became a mass killer.
The suicide bomber was Adil Ahmad Dar, 22, who lived in Gundibagh, almost 10 km from the spot where he blew himself up. He joined Jaish-e-Muhammad outfit in March 2018. He had dropped out of school in the twelfth standard. Locally, he was known as Adil Ahmad Gaadi Takranewala and Waqas Commando of Gundibagh, News18 website said.
“Dar said that his son was radicalised towards terrorism after he and his friends were beaten by troops,” Reuters quoted Ghulam Hassan Dar, father of slain bomber, saying. “They were stopped by the troops and beaten up and harassed. Since then, he wanted to join the militants.”
“He wanted to become a cleric and had knowledge of eight chapters of Quran,” website Scroll.in quoted Adil’s father as saying. “He used to do odd jobs to raise money for himself. He earned about Rs 50, 000 – Rs 60,000 in 2017 by making wooden boxes at a nearby sawmill.”
The family does not understand why he became a militant. “He gave no indication,” one of his cousins who is a bus driver was quoted saying by the Hindustan Times. “In fact when we would watch India-Pakistan match together, he would be a staunch supporter of the Indian team.”
Dar Sr termed his son a “very responsible boy,” who would try to earn and spend for the family. “If he had Rs 10 in his pocket, he would save Rs 5. He would help out his mother, he takes care of daily affairs at home,” Dar was quoted saying. Dar Sr sells fabric and moves from house to house to make an earning.
The last meeting between the son and the father had taken place on March 19, 2018. Then, Adil was working at a construction site. “He came home in the afternoon, and left home on his cycle after lunch,” the report said. “Days later, a photo of Adil wielding a gun went viral on social media. We had no idea he would choose this path.”
The website quoted Adil’s uncle Abdul Rashid Dar saying that his nephew “actively participated” in 2016 unrest that followed the killing of Burhan Wani. “During the 2016 Burhan Wani uprising, he got hit by a bullet in the leg,” Rashid said. “It was in plaster for three months.” His cousin said he was hit by a bullet when “he tried to pick up an injured boy”.
His father said the Special Operations Group (SOG) personnel beat his son and he could not reconcile with that. “One day, he was returning from his school and men from the STF stopped him and made him rub his nose on the ground,” his father was quoted saying. “The men forced the boy to make a circle around their jeep with his nose. He kept mentioning this incident again and again.”
Media reports suggest that Adil belonged to a clan that had many militants. “His cousin, Manzoor Rashid Dar, son of Abdul Rashid Dar, joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba in 2016. He survived for only 11 days before being killed in a gunfight on June 30, 2016,” a news report said. “My other son, Tauseef Ahmad, also went to join militancy in March last year. Four days after he went missing, Adil left home too. While my son returned after 14 days, Adil did not,” Abdul Rashid was quoted saying.
Tauseef is still in jail, despite his surrender. “When my son came back from militancy, we told the police that we will send him to Dubai for a job,” said Abdul Rashid Dar. “But while we were still in the process of getting him a passport, the police picked him up and detained him under the PSA [Public Safety Act]. For the last three months, my 19-year-old son has been in Kot Balwal jail in Jammu.”
Dars’ live in a modest 2-storey home. He has two brothers, the elder one is a professional carpenter and the younger one is a student of the twelfth standard.
Fahmeeda, the suicide bombers mother was quoted saying: “I desperately wanted him to quit militancy. We made many efforts but we were not successful.”
Unlike most of the militants who are being killed in the encounters and counter-insurgency operations, there was nobody that the family got for the last rites. Adil drove the vehicle into the convoy and it blasted like a war attack. “We did not get the body or body parts,” website india.com quoted Sameer Ahmad, Dar’s cousin saying. “Police said there is nothing to give.” He told Hindustan Times: “There is no grave” because “We did not get anybody or body parts.” There were multiple funeral prayers in absentia, however, reports said. The news was broken to them by the local Station House Officer (SHO) of Kakpora station.
“We are in pain in the same way the families of the soldiers are,” Reuters quoted Dar Sr saying.
The killing of more than 45, some reports said 49, CRPF personnel has shocked the world. There have been cries for revenge after the coffins moved to the ancestral homes. Reliance Foundation, in the meanwhile, has announced that it will take the responsibility of education and employment of children.
India Today meanwhile has run a special story suggesting that the car bomber was mentored by Jaish commander Ghazi Abdul Rasheed, a close aide of the outfit founder.
“Ghazi Rasheed managed to infiltrate Kashmir along with his two associates around mid-December last year,” the report quoted intelligence sources revealing. “He was sent to Kashmir by Masood Azhar to avenge the killings of his two nephews, Talah Rasheed and Usman, in 2017 and 2018 respectively.” The report said the Taliban trained Ghazi escaped in an encounter in Ratnipora village just days before Thursday’s attack.