Jammu and Kashmir

An Army commander explains how a militant is born

army-hits-back (File photo) Representational image

The Army on Thursday said the three Jaish-e-Mohammed militants, who attacked a BSF camp at Humhama area of Budgam a few days ago, had actually come with a plan to attack the Srinagar airport and the group could possibly carry out the attack. The attack was a few weeks away from October 27—the day Indian Army landed in Kashmir and pushed backed the Pakistani tribals who had invaded Kashmir in 1947.

“They (militants) wanted to target the airport, but didn't get access to the airport,'' said Army's Srinagar-based 15 Corps commander Lieutenant General J.S. Sandhu during an informal chat with reporters. “They went to BSF camp near the airport and got killed.”

He said they the Army is expecting another attack by the Jaish militants "We are aware of it. Let’s see where it happens.”

The senior most Army commander spoke about a range of issues at hand, including the factors that contribute to the making of a militant. ''Some of the case studies we have done suggest that initially, he (an aspiring militant) as part of a group starts stone throwing. Then he becomes more aggressive and starts identifying with the cause,” Sandhu said. Slowly, the aspiring militant starts mixing with militants and they in turn start trusting him and gradually he is given weapons. “It is actually an issue of indoctrination,” he said.

Secondly, when a friend of a youth becomes militant, he persuades his friend to pick up arms, Sandhu said. ''Since there is a bond of friendship, the other one decides to follow the suit,” he added.

He said in some cases the family background also contributes to a youth becoming a militant. Even slogans uploaded on the social media play a role in youths being pushed into militancy, he added.

Militants like Zakir Musa “managed to rope in a few youth from Tral area of Pulwama district,” he said. “His impact hasn’t been so much. Slogans like 'Musa, Musa' 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,'' Sandhu said.

He further pointed out that owing to the popularity of social media and internet, radical thoughts are spread and youngsters take in to such ideology. ''The people who influence them hold the key. If these people—the maulavis, teachers and parents and the entire environment around them encourage them to join militancy, they will join militant ranks” he added.

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