Militancy outcome of ‘indoctrination’: GoC Sandhu

‘Stone-throwing, family backgrounds, friendship major reasons why youth pick up arms’

ABID BASHIR
Srinagar, Publish Date: Oct 12 2017 11:59PM | Updated Date: Oct 12 2017 11:59PM
Militancy outcome of ‘indoctrination’: GoC SandhuFile Photo

The army on Thursday claimed that “stone throwing, family background and a friend’s affiliation with militancy” are “three major factors that “contribute largely towards making of a militant in Kashmir.”

“There are many reasons why a person joins militancy. Some of the case studies we have done suggest that initially, a militant as part of a group starts stone throwing. Then he becomes more aggressive and starts identifying with the cause,” general officer commanding of army’s Srinagar-based 15 Corps, lieutenant general JS Sandhu told Greater Kashmir on the sidelines of an informal chat organised by the army with journalists at Badami Bagh cantonment here. “Slowly, this militant then starts moving around with other militants and at a certain point of time decides to pick up arms. It is actually an issue of indoctrination.”

Secondly, the GoC claimed that when a friend of a youth becomes a militant, he “persuades his friend saying he too should pick the arms.”

“Since, there is a bond of friendship, the other one decides to follow the suit,” Sandhu said. 

Another reason why a youth becomes militant in Kashmir, according to the army commander, is a “family background of militancy in some cases, like that of Burhan Wani.”

“Burhan’s brother Khalid was killed and then Burhan decided to pick up gun,” he said.

Asked whether pro-Zakir Moosa slogans uploaded through videos on the social media also contribute to youth joining militancy, the GoC said: “Some youth, I won’t say all, probably give a thought. The people who influence them hold the key. If these people—the Molvis, teachers and parents and the entire environment around them enable them to join militancy, then they join the militant ranks.”

On whether Zakir Moosa, who has floated ‘Ansaar-e-Gazwat-ul-Hind’, a splinter group of Al-Qaeda is gaining popularity in Kashmir, the army officer said that he has managed to rope in a few youth from Tral, Pulwama.

“His impact hasn’t been so much. The slogan ‘Moosa, Moosa’ during any protest is a cry coming up. It is an indicator that youth are not happy with the pro-Pakistan line toed by the separatists. Therefore raising slogans suggests that some youth want to identify themselves with an independent line of Moosa,” he said. 

Sandhu alleged that due to the internet, “radical thoughts like wahabi or salafi Islam are propagated and some of them get attracted to it.”

About the possible threats by militants especially Jaish-e-Muhammad outfit, the GoC said that they are expecting a “spectacular attack” by the Jaish militants in run up to October 27, 1947 anniversary, when the army landed in Kashmir.

“We are aware of it. Let’s see where it happens,” he said.

To a query whether the three Jaish militants killed during a gunfight at BSF camp at Humhama had actually come to attack the airport, the army officer said: “They wanted to target the airport, but they didn’t get the access to the airport. Then they went to BSF camp near the airport and got killed.”