Resurgent Militancy?

Bodies of army men killed during Hyderpora ambush  at BB Camp.
Bodies of army men killed during Hyderpora ambush at BB Camp.

These daring attacks happened despite the fact that the local participation in the armed movement had considerably waned since 2007.

After widespread protests by unarmed youth in 2008, 2009 and 2010, it was widely believed that the days of armed resistance in Kashmir are finally over. The idea gained momentum after youngsters started using non-violent means like social media and peaceful protests to press for their political rights.

But the state’s reaction was quite surprising as reacted by arresting the political protesters, prosecuting dissenters, invoking black laws, and above all denying any space to the youngsters who wanted to express their political dissent.

Hence the politically conscious youth in the wake of state sponsored suppression found themselves pushed to extremes, dejected and isolated. In the absence of any political solution, Kashmiri youth found themselves in the dark alley thereby once again deciding to take recourse to guns and resort to violent means to press for their political demands. In the aftermath of hanging of parliament attack accused Afzal Guru, the ground for the recourse to arms has become fertile.

These circumstances gave birth to the new phenomenon: the new age militants of Jammu and Kashmir.

Unlike early 90’s this new generation of militants is well educated with many of them having professional degrees. They have taken an aggressive posture and given a new rigor to revive the armed struggle. Interestingly most of them are still in their teens.

Sajad Ahmad was pursuing Master of Computer Applications (MCA) when he, on January 26, 2009, left his home in Pulwama district in Jammu and Kashmir, never to return.

Weeks later, security agencies told his father, Muhammad Yousuf Mir, 52, that Ahmad had joined militant ranks.

On May 30 this year, the police handed over 28-year-old Ahmad’s bullet-ridden body to his father after he was killed in an encounter in neighbouring village. Thousands of people joined his funeral where a few guys reportedly vowed to carry his ‘mission’ forward.

Ahmad, according to his family and friends was a brilliant student who would seldom talk politics. He had been doing his MCA from Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipora.

Before that, he had completed his post-graduation in Islamic Studies and graduation in science from the University of Kashmir.

“He was more concerned about his studies,” says Mir, who is working as a manager in a leading bank, about his deceased son. “We never had any idea that he would join militancy.”

In Hariparigam village of Tral, in Pulwama district, the well-off Ahangar family was also clueless about their son Saifullah, a civil engineer, joining a militant group till some time ago.

On March 24, Saifullah, 20, son of a retired agriculture officer, Rafiq Ahmad Ahangar, left home on the pretext of visiting Jammu, and then disappeared.

The family informed Jammu and Kashmir Police and nearby Army camp.

An army men stands guard near a damaged vehicle which was targeted by militants near Hyderpora. Pic: Bilal Bahadur
An army men stands guard near a damaged vehicle which was targeted by militants near Hyderpora.
Pic: Bilal Bahadur

“We never thought he would join militants. He had completed his studies in civil engineering and had been working with a private construction firm,” says his mother Raja Begam.

“He was an obedient son,” she says wiping off tears from her eyes. Saifullah had been killed in an encounter with security forces in neighboring Buchoo Bala village on May 24. In the encounter four army men were killed.

Incidentally, in 2004, militants had shot dead his elder brother, Zahoor Ahmad Ahangar, for allegedly being an informer for the security forces.

Hilal Moulvi, a LeT operative was killed in Srinagar. Moulvi was a graduate and an Islamic scholar from Deoband and was planning a post graduation in Islamic studies.

In 2011, Masiullah Khan, a mechanical engineer, joined Hizb ranks from Tral and was killed in a fierce encounter. According to his family, Masiullah was deeply perturbed over the political situation in Kashmir, but he would often repeat that he won’t pick up gun “because it had lost its significance”.

However, Masiullah prepared for his exams and even completed his degree in mechanical engineering from SSM College of Engineering at Pattan and joined the militant ranks.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Crispy —OK.
    It is not only that ‘education’ concerns Endian establishment. Yeh it may be one of the, but wt concerns them most is steady revival. While this comment is being moderated our mujahid brothers again have engaged Endian establishment in Tral sector. This ‘steady’ revival should have been focus, moreso wt is most astonishing is this that despite hurriyat leaders calling for moderate means {both G+M+KLF}.

  2. Muslim Brotherhood, Mlitancy and Jehad:
    The following extracts from the above report show clearly that it is not primarily Kashmiris themselves but the Afganistan-pakistan and foriegn militants nexus which is making life of kashmiris in the valley miserable, besides killing security forces, innocent civilians as well as those who have unfortunately been misguided by their agenda, due to reasons of poverty:
    • “The police later told Kashmir Life that Mir was motivated by the ideology of Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt and the 1979 Iranian Revolution. In November 2010, LeT operative Mohammad Saleem Ganai alias Faisal, a final-year college student, had given a tough fight to security forces before getting killed in an encounter in Kulgam.”
    • “Both Saeed and Salahuddin told us that militancy in Kashmir would escalate after the US-led international troops withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014,”
    • “Soon after the Hyderpora attack in which eight army personnel were killed, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, the largest indigenous militant outfit, claimed responsibility for the attack. The attack was carried out by special squad of the outfit and our militants reached their hideouts safely, HM’s operational spokesperson Baleeg-u-Din told a local Kashmiri news gathering agency immediately after the attack. This terse and strong statement of Hizb was followed by another warning by United Jehad Council General Secretary Sheikh Jameel Ur Rahman who said that the attack on Indian army convoys is done to liberate Kashmir from the occupant forces. Rahman said the attacks on Indian forces will continue in future as the United Nations Charter legalizes such kind of attacks.” This is ridiculous statement as UN Charter would never legalise such violence .
    • “The total number of militants active in Kashmir must be around 130. Around 50 percent of them are foreigners, rest are Kashmiris,” Mir said.

  3. If I remember correctly, in a press conference, SYED SALAHUDDIN had feigned ignorance about ‘ripple effect of post 2014 affecting Kashmir’ but had said that ‘M’ leaders might had their own sources regarding the issue?

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