‘8 J&K boys join mil­i­tants ev­ery month’

Govt’s tough stand on ter­ror fails to dis­suade Kash­miris

The Asian Age - - Nation - SANJIB KR BARUAH

De­spite the gov­ern­ment adopt­ing a tough pos­ture to­wards mil­i­tants, which has re­sulted in the elim­i­na­tion of 148 mil­i­tants in Jammu and Kash­mir since Jan­uary this year, young Kash­miris con­tinue to take to the gun, av­er­ag­ing about eight a month.

“From Jan­uary to Au­gust, we know of at least 80 young Kash­miri boys who have joined the mil­i­tant ranks,” a top of­fi­cial source in the gov­ern­ment has told this news­pa­per.

“The tragic part is that th­ese young boys who join var­i­ous mil­i­tant groups are thrown into ter­ror oper­a­tions with­out much train­ing and prepa­ra­tion un­like in the past and as a re­sult they are first one to fall to bul­lets. More than any­thing else, it is aca­demic set­backs com­pounded by the at­trac­tion of guns that draw them into the mil­i­tants’ fold.”

Th­ese young boys are Class 10 or Class 12 dropouts, mostly in the age group of 16-18 years and ma­jor­ity of them are his­tory sheeters in­volved in crimes like try­ing to snatch weapons from the se­cu­rity forces, stone throw­ing or for lob­bing

It is aca­demic set­backs com­pounded with at­trac­tion of guns that draw them into the mil­i­tants’ fold. Th­ese young boys are Class 10 or Class 12 dropouts.

grenades and sim­i­lar other acts. Once they are charged by the po­lice, they are on the run and are com­pelled to join the ter­ror out­fits.

In the past, the young re­cruits would usu­ally join Hizbul Mu­jahideen or Lashkar-e-Tayyaba while th­ese two groups main­tained a close re­la­tion­ship. But now, be­sides the Jaish e Muham­mad there is an­other break­away Hizbul fac­tion led by Zakir Musa, who now heads An­sar Ghazwatul Hind, Kash­mir’s Al Qaeda cell.

Now th­ese out­fits are at log­ger­heads with Musa be­ing ac­cused by the Hizbul of pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion to se­cu­rity forces about the move­ment of mil­i­tants which has re­sulted in a spike in the num­ber of tar­geted elim­i­na­tion of mil­i­tants.

“Clearly a frat­ri­ci­dal con­flict is in the off­ing be­tween the var­i­ous mil­i­tant groups. Not to speak of Musa’s fac­tion, it is rare nowa­days to find Hizbul and Lashkar mil­i­tants to­gether in a sin­gle photo which was the norm in the re­cent past. Mu­tual sus­pi­cion on the sud­den spike of killings of mil­i­tants abound,” the of­fi­cial said.

This news­pa­per had ear­lier re­ported in May how the Army, in a ma­jor shift in the counter in­sur­gency , had de­cided to operate in a “seek and en­gage” mode and bring back cor­don and search oper­a­tions (CASO) that were aban­doned in 2002 after a pub­lic hue and cry over rights vi­o­la­tions.

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