New Delhi, July 23: As Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh began his visit to Jammu and Kashmir today, posters of 10 young Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists posing at an orchard with AK-47 rifles surfaced. The posters were found in the Shopian district. The posters are a clear indicator that the Hizbul Mujahideen will continue to rope in the youth and keep the fight up.
Interestingly these posters are very similar to the one that Burhan Wani the commander of the outfit had posted on his Facebook account.
The poster which Burhan had posted on his Facebook account had gone viral. In fact it was his Facebook posts that had gone viral and led to the spurt in the number of local Kashmir militants. He had managed to recruit at least 100 youth from Kashmir and for the first time in the Valley the locals had outnumbered the foreign terrorists.
Why the Hizbul Mujahideen will look for young militants?
The Hizbul Mujahideen was rattled by an incident in 2015. There was a tussle on between the younger lot and the older leaders. If one may recall in July 2015, Salahuddin expelled Abdul Qayoom Najar who led a breakaway group called the Lashkar-i-Islam. While the official reason given was that Najar was killing former militants and telecommunication vendors, the actual reason was something else.
Najar was tired of the older leadership which was following the old style of functioning.
He had broken away over differences with the leadership which felt that he was infusing new blood into the outfit. Najar had tried to infuse new blood into the outfit, but felt that the old leadership was standing in the way. He felt that that the 69 year old Salahuddin and his alliance with the old separatists such as Syed Ali Shah Geelani was not helping the outfit.
After expelling Najar, Salahuddin was quick to analyse the problem. He felt that such incidents would continue to take place in future. Fearing that the new blood would take over the outfit, he appointed Burhan Wani as the commander. Wani was 22 when he was killed. This was seen as a ploy to move towards new age terror which included using the social media which Burhan did to perfection.
In the appointment of Wani, the Hizbul Mujahideen saw the number of younger recruits rising. Wani had become a hero among the youth and the gamble taken by Salahuddin had paid off.