‘Desperately wanted him to quit’: Pulwama suicide bomber Adil Dar’s mother
Police say Adil Ahmad Dar had joined terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed about a year back. The group had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy.
The father of Adil Ahmad Dar, the suspected suicide bomber who rammed an explosive-laden car into a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF bus on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, killing 40 men, says an incident that took place during Dar’s school days may have changed him from the simple person he once was.
“Once he was returning from school when was detained by the police and asked to rub his nose on the ground. He felt it was very humiliating and would remember the incident again and again as to why they did this to him,” Ghulam Hassan Dar, a door-to-door fabric salesman,recalled on Friday.
Before that experience, Dar was “very religious and would often help his mother in day-to-day work,” the father said.
A day after the car bomb attack, the family, without a body to bury, performed Dar’s funeral in their village in the Kakapora area of Pulwama district on Friday.
“We did not get any body or body parts. Police said there is nothing to give. There is no grave,” said Sameer Ahmad, a 22-year-old cousin of Dar, who was of the same age when he carried out Thursday’s attack.
All shops lining the road leading to Dar’s village in the Kakapora area of Pulwama district were shut. Security forces placed a blockade on the road a few kilometres ahead and stopped vehicles from moving towards the village. Even so, hundreds of people from the interiors managed to reach the village and participate in the symbolic funeral ceremony, held on the grounds of a school near Dar’s family home .
“We had never imagined this. When news came in media about Adil, we could not believe it. Then the SHO (station house officer) called and told us about his involvement in the attack,” said Ahmad.
Inside the modest, two-storey family home, the atmosphere was charged with emotion. As more people started to gather, Adil Dar’s mother raised religious slogans.
“I desperately wanted him to quit militancy. We made many efforts but we were not successful,” she told the mourners.
Dar dropped out of school and joined a course in religious studies in 2017. He was the middle child among three siblings; his elder brother is a carpenter and the younger one has passed the 12th class. He also worked for a bandsaw mill, making wooden boxes, for some time. He left his home in March 2018 on a cycle and that was the last time his family saw him.
His cousin Ahmad, who drives a bus, said the family has no idea why he joined the militant ranks. “He gave no indication. In fact when we would watch India-Pakistan match together, he would be a staunch supporter of the Indian team,” Ahmad said.
He said that Dar was hit by a bullet in a leg during protests in 2016. “During an incident of stone pelting at Pulwama, he tried to pick up an injured boy when he was himself hit by a bullet. He was bedridden for months with pins in his leg,” he said.
In 2016, one of his other cousins left home to join militancy and was killed in an encounter with security forces within 11 days. Another cousin who joined militancy and returned home was booked under the Public Safety Act. After Dar left home in 2018, Ahmad said the family looked for him for months. Then his photo appeared on social media with the announcement that he had joined the ranks of militants.