The intensity of terrorist attacks in the Jammu and Kashmir fluctuates in face of the impending crisis seeking permanent solution, given the occasional outbursts from the people in the valley who demand more autonomy or “azadi” of the state in the years to come.
But what strongly concerns us is the affect this unrestrained bloodletting and deepening crisis has on so many innocent lives in this vicious network of political ideologies.
Even more harrowing is the fact that underage boys are being targeted and dragged into this notorious underbelly of militancy to launch the fidayeen attacks on civilians.
What sent shockwaves across the region was the recent spate of terrorist assault on a CRPF training camp in Lethpora, Awantipora in Pulwama district of Kashmir, where one of the militants involved was a boy from class 10th. The participation of such a young boy into the militant camp instantly had a jarring impact on our minds.
How pathetic is the revelation that at a stage when one should be engaged in academics, is being levied on raking insurgent activities against the nation.
A CRPF personnel declared in a statement issued, that on December 31st at 2:15 am fidayeen attackers from the Jaish e Mohammed camp stormed the CRPF camp using Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL).
The attacks killed four CRPF soldiers and injured three of them, while two JeM militants who were hiding in a building were also killed by the security forces. Sources reveal that the security forces were tipped about the impending strikes on the CRPF camp, a few days back.
What is even more shocking is the fact that of the two militants killed, one is a 16 year old Fardeen Ahmed Khanday, studying in class tenth , a son of a police constable Ghulam Mohammed Khanday reportedly posted in Srinagar police.
Khanday became a militant three months back and came from Tral, also the home town of martyred militant leader from Hizbul Mujahideen, Burhan Wani who got killed in an encounter with security forces on July 2016.
The pre-dawn attack by the Jaish e Mohammed militants was allegedly carried out as a form of vengeance on the string of killings of prominent JeM terrorists over the last few months.
Among them were the nephew of JeM chief Masood Azhar and key Jaish organizer Noor Mohammed Tantray.
According to Jammu and Kashmir’s Director General of Police SP Vaid, “This year, 206 militants were killed, 75 youth back who had either joined or were about to join the militancy were brought back by us. Apart from this seven youth, who had picked up arms, were brought back due to the support their families showed to us,”.
What raises concern with among security personnel is that the local militants joining the fidayeen attacks work in tandem with the Jaish E Mohammed operatives based in Pakistan.
Sources from the J & K police said that the CRPF was facing threats for quite some time and despite repeated warnings from police and NSG (National Security Guard) security was not beefed up hence the breach occurred.
Inspector General Munir Khan said, “two of the jawans have been safely evacuated while the operations are on to rescue more. Combing operations are also on to hunt down more terrorists.”