When a militant calls his father for the last time

When a militant calls his father for the last time

 

A parting conversation between a father and his dying militant son during his last encounter with the security forces in south Kashmir's Shopian district over the weekend has gone viral on social media, whipping up passions among people, especially the youth in the Valley.  

Very close to death, Eitmaad Hussain Dar, a resident of Amshipora, Shopian, who joined the indigenous Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit just five months ago, pleads with his father to forgive him.

"I'm trapped. If I made any mistakes, please forgive me," Eitmaad, 26, tells his father in a five-minute recorded conversation, which has gone viral on social media.

Immediately, wails of women are heard in the house. "I couldn't fulfil my promise. Now I can't tell it,"  Eitmaad tells his father while weeping, who responds saying, "I too had to make a pious promise to you. It was for your and our good."

The father then goes on to ask his son whether there are any chances of him escaping from the security cordon. "We tried a lot to escape but we couldn't. Abrar bhai (another militant) is injured," the son replies.  The father then says, "Keep courage. You were God's gift to me and are returning to him. Keep courage."

 

The father also tells his son that he can't advise him to surrender.

"See, I can't tell you to surrender, can I?" the father asks his son, to which Eitmaad says, "I can't".

"You should remain happy," the militant tells his father, even as the other members of the family are heard getting emotional in the background.

 

Eitmaad was one of the 13 militants killed in three separate encounters with the security forces on Sunday in the Shopian and Anantnag districts of south Kashmir.  
 
A dying militant's last conversation with the family surfacing on social media is not a new phenomenon in Kashmir.

 

 

It started with the advent of smartphones. In as early as 2012, Lashkar-e-Toiba's divisional commander Muzamil Amin Dar alias Urfi made one such call to his family in Sopore town, when security forces had zeroed in on the house he was hiding.

In the last conversations with their families, the militants generally don't talk about the political conflict in Kashmir, rather about religion and the hereafter, while counselling patience to their members and friends.

 

 

These taped phone conversations echo across Kashmir's cyberspace and smartphones. Whether these calls lead to more militant recruitment is not easily clear, but the conversations do offer an insight into the mind of the Kashmiri militant.
 
Despite 28 years of relentless violence, there has been no independent study of the psychology of Kashmiri militants and what prompts the youth to pick up the gun.

 

 

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