When militants barged into her home in the dead of night, beat her parents senseless and turned on her, Rukhsana decided she wouldn’t go down without a fight.
Mustering all her courage, the frail 18-year-old managed to get her hands on an axe, attacked one of them with it and then shot him dead with his own gun.
She had never fired — let alone held — a gun before.
The dead man turned out to be Lashkar commander Abu Usama. His two accomplices managed to escape.
Recalling the terror that unfolded on Sunday in her home in Rajouri, Rukhsana said the terrorists accused her father of being an informer and rained blows on him and her mother.
“When I saw my parents lying unconscious, I thought they’d died. A divine force gave me the courage to pull down the terrorist by his hair, hit him with the axe and snatch his rifle.”
The police were tightlipped about the motive of the militants but said Rukhsana would be rewarded for her courage.
Rukhsana’s story is a sign of the changing times — militants once sheltered by locals are now losing support. A year ago, a woman in Bhaderwah, 200 km northeast of Jammu, helped the police arrest the militants who had raped her.