We keep hearing, almost on a daily basis, that operations by the security forces against the terrorists were hampered by stone pelters in Kashmir. A notion of sorts has formed in our minds that many in the valley do not oppose the terrorists as they should. Some will go to the extent of saying that people in the valley harbour a soft corner for terrorists and be judgemental about Kashmiris.
Such generalised misconceptions ought to be shunned and the incident involving Rukhsana Kausar, who hails from Upper Kalsi in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district, will force such judgemental zealots to rethink about their views on Kashmiris.
Rukhsana Kausar lived with her parents – Noor Hussain and Rashida Begum- and her brother Aijaz in Shahdra Sharief which was around 30 miles away from LoC. On September 27, 2009, three gunmen, believed to be Pakistani militants, came to their house and demanded food and beds for the night. Kausar's father Noor Mohammad refused to their demands and was attacked.
The attacks worsened and the terrorists, said to be affiliated to the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, began hitting Mohammed with rifle butts. On seeing this, Kausar who was hiding under her bed at that time, emerged with an axe and hit the LeT commander on his head. Rukhsana then picked up the commander's AK-47 rifle and shot him dead. She and her brother then fired at the other militants, forcing them to flee.
Rukshana and her brother then led their family to the Shahdra Shareif police post and handed over the weapons. The killed terrorist was later identified as Abu Osama, a commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba.
For this brave act of hers, Rukshana has been awarded National Bravery Award, Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak, Sardar Patel Award, Rani Jhansi Bravery Award and Astha Award among others.
- The J&K government has given her a cash award of Rs 5000.
- On October 7, 2009, the center announced National Bravery Award for Rukhsana.
- On November 7, 2009, she was given the Rani Jhanshi bravery award during a felicitation function held at Durgapura in Jaipur.
- Sardar Patel Award and Cash award of Rs 1 lakh by AIATF, Gujarat chapter.
- Cash award of Rs 1 lakh by Aastha Welfare Society, Nahan.
- On January 8, 2010, the President of India announced the Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak for Rukhsana.
- On the eve of Republic Day, 25 January 25, 2010, Rukhsana and her brother, Aijaz, were awarded the Kirti Chakra, the second highest gallantry award in peacetime, for their bravery act.