Srinagar, Mar 26: Local youth joining militant ranks in Kashmir has evoked concern from all the quarters especially from the people sitting in New Delhi.
Kashmir Interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma said, “Local youth joining militancy in Kashmir is a matter of concern and it shouldn’t happen. I am personally concerned about it. It is unfortunate.”
An analyst while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “Killing of Hizbul-Mujahideen commander Burhani Wani in 2016 has proved to be a turning point. Since that day many youth have taken up the arms.”
He said that the Government of India needs to revisit its policy towards handling Kashmir. “If youth keep on joining the militant ranks there is no possibility about Kashmir situation improving in coming days,” he added.
It may be recalled that last week son of a top separatist leader, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, joined militant ranks, just a few days after Sehrai was selected as the Chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat.
Since the day Sehari’s son joined the militant ranks he maintained silence over the issue and described his son’s decision as his “own discretion.”
According to Police there are more than 200 local militants active in Kashmir and to tackle them has become a difficult task. “The State Government has announced Rs 6 lakhs for the local militants who would lay down their arms. Despite the offer not many militants have come forward to surrender,” said an official.
He said, “Local youth who are picking up the arms are making a wrong choice. If they don’t come back to their families they would end up losing their lives.”
Soon after Sehrai’s son joined the militant ranks the Director General of Police S P Vaid asked the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chief to make an appeal to his son and other militants to lay down the arms and return to the mainstream. However, Sehrai did not react.
According to the official figures 280 youth joined militancy in past three years. Of them, 127 took up arms in 2017.
An analyst said that New Delhi not giving a clear mandate to Dineshwar Sharma has aggravated the problem. “Separatist groups have refused to hold any dialogue with him. They believe that Shrama has been appointed to buy time. On the other hand Kashmir based business organizations also declined to meet him. There has been no breakthrough on the dialogue front which has led to more disappointment and anger among the youth.”
He said, “New Delhi has been maintaining that no talks can be held over Kashmir as it’s an integral part of India.”
The analyst said, “Only expressing concern won’t help anyone’s cause. New Delhi would have to show some flexibility vis-à-vis Kashmir.”