June 2016 News

Video Clips Reveal Kashmir's New Militancy

27 June 2016
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Azhar Qadri

Srinagar: The Pampore ambush footage is the latest in a series of audio and video clips that have emerged in recent years giving an insight into how the militants are operating in the region. The videos, shot either by militants themselves or by the passers-by, go instantly viral on social networking sites. The police said the videos showing militants provide 'visibility' to them but they also help the security forces in understanding the militancy. A police officer, in charge of a district in south Kashmir, said the videos provide limited real-time intelligence to the security agencies. 'We do get to understand their behavioural signatures, how they walk, how they talk, how they can hide and their geographical location,' the official said. Earlier this month, a video, shot by a passer-by, had shown two militants escaping from the scene of an attack in Anantnag town. In the clip, the two militants are seen stopping a little distance from the site of the attack, where two policemen were gunned down, and firing back to cover their escape. The police later used a still image of the two militants from the video on its 'wanted' posters. Inspector General of Police, Kashmir zone, SJM Gilani, told The Tribune that these videos had helped militants but also gave an idea about them to the security agencies. When asked if the videos help militants in recruitment and propaganda efforts, Gilani said, 'It does, of course.' The recruitment of local cadre, which had slowed down in the last decade, has registered an increase in the recent years. 'It does give them (militants) visibility and that is probably what they are looking for,' Gilani said. 'The content (of the videos) gives us an idea about what they are up to and we also analyse it in different ways and it does help us,' he said. In the videos that have appeared in public domain in recent years, the militants who were involved in the new wave of insurgency in the region could be seen patrolling through orchards in south Kashmir, preparing for 'iftar,' performing a ritualistic sacrifice and preparing meals. In a video, shot by militants themselves in May 2013, a militant, injured while ambushing an Army patrol in a south Kashmir forest, is seen preparing for his last stand. In a video shot recently, a cop-turned-militant Naseer Pandit, who was killed in April this year, is seen training a group of militants.