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Burhan Wani 2.0: Hizbul resorts again to photo strategy

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    Srinagar, July 16: A couple of years back a picture of Burhan Wani and his gang went viral on the social media. It became an inspiration for many youth in Jammu and Kashmir to raise arms and join the terror group.

    With all members of the Burhan Wani gang being wiped out, the Hizbul Mujahideen is now attempting to re-create what the slain Hizbul commander had done. After circulating 35 images of new recruits, the Hizbul has now released an image with 14 terrorists sporting guns.

    Hizbul resorts again to photo strategy

    The group photo has been widely shared on the social media. Unlike the Burhan gang which wore Army fatigues, this new image terrorists posing with a blue shirt. The police and the Intelligence Bureau are verifying the image. None of them are known faces and this gives the impression that all those in the picture are a new breed of recruits.

    Last week, the Hizbul Mujahideen released photographs of 35 new recruits. The outfit sent out a message that recruitments continue unabated into the outfit and more and more youth are willing to pick up the gun.

    While the police say that this would help them pin-point the terrorist and kill them, the Hizbul on the other hand appears to have undertaken a PR exercise. Flashing a gun and posing for a photograph incidentally gives many Kashmiri youth an adrenaline rush.

    The outfit hopes that more youth would join the ranks after looking at the photographs. The big question is how dangerous are these terrorists who are being recruited into the Hizbul Mujahideen.

    Officials tell OneIndia that they are new recruits with hardly any training. These are mostly poster boys aimed at attaining numbers. Any outfit would look lethal if they have a large number of recruits.

    However what is worrisome is that the new lot are all educated and this is a trend that needs to be reversed.

    The problem in Kashmir is that terror is being romanticised. Most youth do it for the gun and the ideology is missing. It appears as though the youth are joining the outfit for a cause, but in reality 80 per cent of them do it purely for the 'kick' of it.

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