September 2017 News

8 Kashmir Valley Youths Take To Gun Every Month

16 September 2017
Deccan Chronicle
Sanjib Kumar Baruah

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. The families come to know about their children joining militants only after they post a photographs of themselves posing with a gun. In the past, the young recruits would usually join the Hizbul Mujah-ideen or the 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.