She was so elated at her militant son’s sudden visit home that she fell unconscious. At hospital, doctors said she has suffered life-threatening brain haemorrhage. Barely six hours later, the son was killed in a gunfight.
Ateeqa Banoo, a widow in her late fifties, went unconscious upon seeing her son Dawood Alai alias Dawood Khan, a Hizb militant.
While she was being treated at the Anantnag district hospital, Dawood was killed in Khudwani area of the neighbouring Kulgam district.
Ateeqa’s condition deteriorated in the morning when Dawood was being laid to rest at his native village, Hawoora in Qamioh area of Kulgam district.
She was immediately shifted to the SMHS Hospital in Srinagar. Doctors have described her condition as critical.
“His mother has been suffering from multiple ailments since he (Dawood) was first arrested by the police in 2012 and detained for four years,” said a relative of Dawood’s.
“She used to remember her son all the time. Dawood took a risk and came to see her yesterday evening at around 7 pm, not knowing that this could be his last meeting with her,” the relative said.
Dawood had been home only twice or thrice since he joined militant ranks in March this year, the locals said.
After Ateeqa fell unconscious, Dawood stayed for sometime but left only after he was assured by the family members that her condition has improved.
Locals say Dawood’s family members were informed about his killing in the morning.
“As soon as his family members learnt about Dawood’s martyrdom some of them came here while a few of his relatives attended to his mother at the hospital,” said a neighbor of Dawood’s, wishing anonymity.
Dawood’s two sisters were seen wailing at his funeral. The 23-year-old militant’s father had died in an accident in 1998 after he fell from a tree.
He is survived by two elder brothers who raised him up besides the mother and two elder sisters, both of whom are married. Dawood’s family members alleged that he was harassed by the police and army before he joined militancy.
On 8 February 2012 Dawood and two of his friends— Younus Ahmad Lone of Hawoora Mishpora and Rameez Ahmad Dar of Redwani Ghat— were arrested on charges of killing a local sarpanch.
The local residents said the trio was tortured at the Special Operations Group camp at Amnoo, Kulgam, where they were detained for 48 days. They were jailed at the Srinagar Central Jail for four years and released in early 2016.
“But the forces continued to harass them and whenever anything untoward used to happen anywhere they would be picked up,” the locals said. The friends picked up arms “to escape harassment”. Younus was killed in an encounter with forces in Frisal village of Kulgam in February this year.
“Dawood was operated upon for injuries inflicted during torture in his ear and shoulder at the SKIMS hospital. Younus also was physically unstable. He was under treatment when he was killed in the gunfight,” said Bashir Ahmad, brother of Dawood.
He said that the trio was framed for sarpanch’s killing. “Dawood was very good in studies but couldn’t continue after passing class 12 as he remained inside jail and then joined militancy,” said Bashir.—KMS