- Rouf Khanday, who had joined Hizbul Mujahideen, was trapped in a house
- Police asked his mother to try to convince him to surrender, he refused
- He died after the 2-storey house was brought down with explosives
As she was applying henna on the hands of her daughter who was to get engaged on Sunday, policemen knocked at their door. Her son Rouf Khanday who had joined the terror group Hizbul Mujahideen was trapped inside a house seven kilometres away. The cops asked Hajira and her husband to accompany them and convince their son to surrender.
Celebrations turned into fear and anxiety as Hajira left home. But her hopes were shattered after she spoke to her son for half an hour inside the house he had been holed up. 21-year-old Rouf refused to surrender.
"He told me that he did not join militancy to give up. I told him -- your sister is waiting with henna on her hands. He said, she has her own way and I have chosen mine," said Hajira.
Police say for more than three hours they made every effort to convince Rouf to surrender but nothing worked, including appeals by his distraught mother.
"I cried because I could understand the helplessness of the mother of a terrorist. He may have chosen his own path but she has her love and affection for her child. I couldn't withstand it. It was too emotional," said Altaf Khan, Senior Superintendent of Police.
Rouf was trapped along with another terrorist inside the residential house at Dialgam village. While his accomplice agreed to surrender, Rouf, who carried a pistol and two grenades, refused to relent. He was killed after the two storey house was finally brought down with explosives.
People from the neighbourhood who have joined hands to rebuild the house have one question -- why did Rouf ignore his mother's appeal and choose death over life?
Rouf's father Bashir Ahmad Khanday says they are opposed to violence but his son changed his mind after he was arrested by the police during the 2016 unrest and spent 45 days in police custody.