Jammu, Aug 6: It has been almost 20 hours since Pakistani terrorist, Mohammad Naved has been arrested for his role in the Udhampur attack in which India lost two brave soldiers. Ironically his age is a factor that is being debated over and over again with some even trying to suggest that the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act be made applicable.
The debate regarding the Juvenile Justice Act came into the picture after Naved who had initially claimed he was 20 years old said later that he was only 16.
The question is should the Indian laws apply to Pakistani terrorists? It may be debated that the Indian laws apply since the act has been committed on Indian soil.
Say for instance, Naved does manage to prove that he is 16 and gets the benefit of the Juvenile Justice Act, then there is a great risk ahead. Pakistan will send only juvenile terrorists into India and ensure that each one of them reap the benefit of this law.
Terror training in Pakistan starts at a young age
Terror camps in Pakistan have a lot of young boys. There are a good number of them who begin training at the age of 8. While at the age of 8 they are imparted with education that instills a hardcore ideology into them, by the time they are 12 they are given a weapon.
While the training programme with weapons and combat begins at the age of 12, by the time they turn 16 or 17, they are fully battle ready. This would mean they are able to infiltrate and stage an attack.
If the claim by Mohammad Naved that he is only 16 years old is correct, then one got to witness what he was capable of during the Udhampur attack. Just two men of a very young age engaged an entire convoy of the elite BSF for several hours.
Do not give them the benefit of the law
For Pakistan's terrorist groups, the Mohammad Naved case would be a very interesting one. They would watch very closely how the Indian law deals with him and would hope that he is given the benefit of the Juvenile Justice Act.
If by any chance the Juvenile laws are made applicable to him, then it is mandatory that he is not sent to jail but to a remand home only to be let off after three years. He cannot be subject to any sort of harsh interrogation and the entire process would need to be reformative in nature as per the law.
If this does happen, then Pakistan will send only terrorists who are juvenile to India to carry out attacks. They would be well aware that no matter how grave the crime is, if the operative is a juvenile, he will get away with minimum punishment.
Former State Public Prosecutor of Karnataka, H S Chandramouli makes a very interesting point. He says that in the various cases he has handled he has seen gangs and members of the underworld deliberately using juveniles as sharp shooters or even send them to carry out a murder.
This is done intentionally knowing fully well that such persons will get the benefit of the law which mandates a lesser punishment.