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Hizbul’s new terrorists: Guns, girlfriends and an excuse called Jihad

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    New Delhi, July 11: Earlier this 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.

    Hizbul’s new terrorists: Guns, girlfriends and an excuse called Jihad

    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.

    Hizbul’s new terrorists: Guns, girlfriends and an excuse called Jihad

    In this context we need to re-visit the interrogation of Danish Ahmed of the Hizbul who surrendered last June.

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

    Also Read | Guns and girlfriends: The new craze in the Kashmir Valley

    His confession statement reads, "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 goes on to add that the likes of Reyaz Naikoo and Zakir Musa and Abu Dujana had multiple girlfriends. He says that these persons project themselves as Robin Hood before 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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