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  India   All India  17 Sep 2017  ‘8 J&K boys join militants every month’

‘8 J&K boys join militants every month’

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANJIB KR BARUAH
Published : Sep 17, 2017, 1:21 am IST
Updated : Sep 17, 2017, 1:21 am IST

In the past, the young recruits would usually join Hizbul Mujahideen or Lashkar-e-Tayyaba while these two groups maintained a close relationship.

The change in tactics was necessitated because militants were believed to be hiding among the civilian populace and using them as human shields while many civilians have been found to be harbouring militants.
 The change in tactics was necessitated because militants were believed to be hiding among the civilian populace and using them as human shields while many civilians have been found to be harbouring militants.

New Delhi: 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 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.

The change in tactics was necessitated because militants were believed to be hiding among the civilian populace and using them as human shields while many civilians have been found to be harbouring militants.

Tags: militants, hizbul mujahideen
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi