A suicide bomber who killed 44 paramilitary policemen in Indian-controlled Kashmir joined a militant group after having been beaten by troops three years ago, his parents told Reuters yesterday.
Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) has claimed responsibility for Thursday's car bomb attack on a security convoy, the worst in decades of insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir, India's only Muslim majority state. It comes months before a key Indian general election.
Adil Ahmad Dar, 20, from the village of Lethipora in Indian Kashmir, rammed a car full of explosives into the convoy, escalating tension between the nuclear-armed neighbours, which both claim the rugged Himalayan region.
"We are in pain in the same way the families of the soldiers are," said farmer Ghulam Hassan Dar, adding that his son had been radicalised after police stopped him and his friends on the way home from school in 2016.
"They were stopped by the troops and beaten up and harassed," Dar said, adding that the students were accused of stone-pelting. "Since then, he wanted to join the militants."
A video released by the militant group after the attack showed his son, dressed in military fatigues and carrying an automatic rifle, detailing his plan to carry out the bombing.
His mother, Fahmeeda, corroborated her husband's account.
"He was beaten by Indian troops a few years back when he was returning from school," she said. "This led to anger in him against Indian troops."
Both parents said they were unaware of their son's plan to attack the convoy.