Adil Ahmad Dar, the 22-year-old terrorist who allegedly carried out the Pulwama terror attack on Thursday, 14 February, in which at least 37 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed, had trained for this specific “operation”.
Accused of carrying out one of the deadliest terrorist attacks the state has ever witnessed, Dar lived just 10 kilometres away from the attack spot in Gundibagh.
He was a Class XI student when he joined the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), reported The Print.
A Jammu and Kashmir Police source quoted by the report said that he had been on the security forces’ radar ever since he started “ground work” for the terror outfit, including initiating stone-pelting in the Valley.
“He was highly radicalised and joined JeM while he was a student,” the police source said.
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Dar was also known as ‘Adil Ahmad Gaadi Takranewala’ and ‘Waqas Commando of Gundibagh’, NDTV reported.
Quoting police records, the report also said that Dar was a category C militant who had joined militancy in 2018. He used to work as a sawmill worker.
Local villagers reportedly claimed that Dar dropped out of school after one of his cousins, who was also a militant, was killed in an encounter.
Dar’s family also said that he was shot in the leg when he took part in the protests following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen ‘commander’ Burhan Wani in 2016.
His father, Ghulam Hassan Dar, who runs a small shop in Kakapora area, filed a police complaint after he went missing.
But their search reportedly ended after his photograph was posted on social networking platforms, holding an AK-47 and with ‘Waqas Commando’ as his ‘code name’, reported The Indian Express.
‘I Am Proud’
Within hours of the attack, the JeM reportedly claimed responsibility and identified Dar as the attacker.
In a video that surfaced online following the attack, Dar – seen dressed in tactical gear, holding rifles while seated in front of a JeM banner – said that he had prepared and waited for this moment (the Pulwama attack) for a year.
“By the time this video is out, I will be enjoying in heaven,” he says. “I am proud... I am the real propagator of Islam and my name will be written in golden letters.”
He also said that he had joined the ranks of JeM’s “fidayeen squad” for a “purpose”.
Listing out recent terror attacks, including the IC 814 hijacking (1999), Nagrota camp killing (2016) and the Pathankot airbase attack (2016), he warned “Hindustan” of “further misery”.
He also said that chants of Allah-hu-Akbar will soon resonate in the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.
Right before the video cuts off, Dar says that the Pulwama IED attack is just the “beginning”.
A CRPF convoy of 78 vehicles, carrying 2,547 CRPF personnel, was attacked at 2:03 pm at Awantipora in J&K’s Pulwama district on Thursday. Dar, allegedly driving a Mahindra Scorpio carrying more than 350 kg of explosives, rammed into the convoy.
A CRPF official told The Quint that the moment the blast took place, terrorists opened fired on the convoy. Two buses were the worst hit, one of them was carrying 39 personnel.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, meanwhile, has said that a “strong reply” will be given to “Pakistan-backed Jaish-e-Mohammad” that has claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack.
Pakistan, in response, said that it “strongly rejected any insinuation” by the Indian media and government that sought to link the attack to them “without investigation.”
(With inputs from The Print, The Indian Express and NDTV)