Guns and girlfriends: The new craze in the Kashmir Valley

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Danish Ahmed's surrender was a huge victory for the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir. His interrogation report has some very interesting points. Ahmed says that not all youth are living by the gun because they believe in Azaadi. It is to impress girls, he says.

Girlfriend or Azaadi? Real reason why many Kashmiri youth are living by the gun

Ahmed who had joined the Hizbul Mujahideen was seen at the funeral of terrorist, Sabzar Bhat who was gunned down by security forces in May.

Ahmed's story is an interesting one. In 2016 he was arrested for stone pelting, but was let off after counseling. He however went on to join the Hizbul Mujahideen and was part of the camp run by Sabzar Bhat who succeeded Burhan Wani.

[Victory for Indian Army as top militant Danish Ahmed surrenders]

The police and the security forces who identified Danish Ahmed through the videos shot at the funeral of Bhat wanted him to surrender. Finally they spoke with his parents and coaxed him to surrender.

The Danish Ahmed story tells a take of disillusionment. He speaks about a carrot that was promised which ultimately turned out to be a stick. His interrogation report states that he got in touch with militants in South Kashmir. He says that they instigated him to join the Hizbul.

"My job was to recruit youth into the Hizbul from north Kashmir. The Hizbul has a considerable presence in south Kashmir, but wanted to scale up operations in the northern part of the state," Danish said.

He said that after a few days became disillusioned. It is not just me. There are many other youth who are upset that they joined the militant ranks, he says. There are many waiting to surrender. However they are scared to do so because the Hizbul militants have threatened to kill them, he said.

However the most interesting part of his confession comes in the later half of his interrogation report. "Most youth pick up the gun to impress girls. He says that many local girls treat these youth as heroes. With a gun in hand, they feel strong and powerful and this impresses many girls," he says. He goes on to add that the likes of Reyaz Naikoo and Zakir Musa and Abu Dujana have multiple girlfriends.

He says that these persons project themselves as Robin Hood before the girls in a bid to impress them. He further says that not all the money looted by the militants goes into funding the terror organisation. He says that in most cases the money looted from banks or got from extortion is used to buy fancy gadgets and expensive clothes.

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