Training camps on this side of LoC to fight militants and bring peace
16 June 2005
Luv Puri: Luv Puri Village defence panels set up Stress on coordination and using combined firepower Many locals keen to join training MARRAH (POONCH): A different set of training camps is proliferating on this side of Line of Control (LoC) — to train local population against militants who have come here to fight in the name of Jehad. The people are trained in elementary use of weapons for self-defence. For the locals, learning to use weapons is the way of survival. More so, this season when the dangers of militant attacks increase as the passes open up with the melting of snow and the militants descend to lower altitudes. The first Village Defence Committee, formed at Marrah in Surankote, was instrumental in fighting militancy. Now youth from this village are training people in other hamlets. Mohammad Aslam, one among the first to pick up weapons against militants, says: 'We have succeeded in bringing peace to our area and this has been an example for rest of the neighbouring hamlets. The lesson is simple: injustice should not be tolerated. A number of people contacted us for training and we considered it our duty to train them.' The locals are trained in the basic techniques of fighting with weapons, mostly .303 rifles, through demonstration. The stress is on coordination and using the combined firepower to repulse a militant attack. Though peace has returned, many areas are still militant-infested. If the locals continue to enlist themselves, the day will not be far off when we uproot militancy, says Tahir Mohammad, one of the trainers.