Army introduces ''zimedari system'' to check terrorists'' recruitment
24 November 2001
The Daily Excelsior
KISHTWAR: As the foreign mercenaries have intensified forcible recruitment of local youth, the concerned Army formations, all over the Doda district, have introduced ‘Zimedari System’ to frustrate evil designs of anti-national forces. With the implementation of this system, the concerned village Panchayat and Revenue officer of the area will be solely responsible for the recruitment of any local youth in the rank and file of terrorists. ''Number of the local youth recruited in the terrorists’ out-fit has increased marginally. We are expecting further intensification of this trend’’, admitted Commander of the Rashtriya Riffles, manning the difficult terrain of Kishtwar tehsil. Commander told the visiting media-persons that ‘Zimedari System’ has been introduced to keep a check on fresh recruitment. Concerned village Panchayats and Revenue officers of each and every village have been asked to keep a check on the activities of all youth. ‘Zamedari System’ also put greater responsibilities on the Panchayat members and they will be accountable for any anti-national activity in their areas. Defence sources said that beside keeping a check on fresh recruitments, ‘Zimedari System’ also help in frustrating nefarious designs of Over Ground Workers (OGWs) active in the militancy plagued Doda district. ''It is difficult for us to single out the OGWs. Some times even those who used to vociferously oppose militant acts were later established as OGWs'', said defence sources and added that beside frustrating evil designs of foreign terrorism this system will also help in keeping a check on the activities of the sympathizers of the terrorists. As reported earlier there are reports that for the last one month foreign mercenaries, active in the Kashmir valley and Doda district, have reportedly kidnapped more than 160 local youth and took them to the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) to train them in subversive activities. Defence sources admitted that ''for the last three months not even a single local youth has joined rank and file of terrorist out-fits voluntarily but forcible recruitment has been going on unabated''. Pointing towards role of some local Kashmiri leaders who have been cooperating foreign mercenaries in the forcible recruitment, defence sources hoped that Zimedari System will help in keeping a check on the activities of these leaders. These local leaders have been assigned the task to exploit religious sentiment of the people in general and youth in particular. Defence sources disclosed names of three youth namely Hashmat Ullah son of Rashid Gujjar, Irfan son of Abdul Rashid Rather and Iqbal son of Gulam Hassan who have recently joined rank and file of militant out-fits. Sources said that these three youth were motivated by a local teacher to join Jehad. All these three newly recruited belong to Marmat area of Doda district and under ‘Zimedari System’ concerned Panchayat members have been asked to contact these youth and convince them to surrender. Defence sources further said that ‘Zimedari System’ will also fix responsibility on Panchayat member to keep a check on the functioning of the various Government departments in their areas. ''Under the garb of militancy most of the Government officials usually did bunks and most of the Government offices are closed in militancy plagued areas'', sources said and hoped that new system will help in making government departments functional.