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No rules left: The rise of women terrorists in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Nov 19: The security agencies arrested a woman for allegedly luring youth into terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

Asiya Andrabi, Fahmeeda Sofi and Naheed Nasreen of Dukhtran-E-Millat

A week prior to this arrest, the security agencies had apprehended another lady after she was found to be carrying 20 grenades at Lawaypora near Srinagar.

The lady terrorists of Kashmir: Tough nuts with patronage from the state

These developments are indeed worrying as terrorist groups are now actively recruiting women into their fold in Kashmir. In this context it must also be noted that the NIA is probing into the activities of dreaded separatist, Asiya Andrabi and her two women accomplices.

In its chargesheet against pro-Pakistani separatist and Dukhtaran-e-Millat head Aasiya Andrabi and her two associates, the NIA accuses them of waging war against the state.

Andrabi, Sofi Fehmeeda and Naheeda Nasreen were using various social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and TV channels including some in Pakistan to spread "insurrectionary imputations and hateful messages and speeches against India.

The Dukhtaran-E-Millat through Andrabi and others, openly advocates secession of Jammu and Kashmir from the Union of India and its merger with Pakistan through violent means. It is engaged in anti-India activities and has been inciting the general populace of Kashmir for an armed rebellion against the Government of India with aid and assistance of militant organizations based in Pakistan, the NIA also said.

The rise of the lady terrorist:

While Andrabi set the pace, it is now increasingly being noticed that more women terrorists are cropping up. On Sunday, officials said that Shazia from Naidkhai in the Sumbal area of Bandipore was picked up after the Intelligence Bureau zeroed in on her.

She was luring youth for jihad and picking up weapons, the officials said.

During interrogation it was found that she had handed over some ammunition and magazines to two youths from Anantnag, one of whom has been picked up.

How Asiya Andrabi destabilised Kashmir

Shazia, who is in her early 30s and is a mother of two, had been on the radar of security agencies for quite some time. She would seek favours from senior officers promising them help in getting some militants arrested.

A video featuring Shazia had surfaced on Facebook a few months ago, and it was alleged that she was a police informer. On the basis of a complaint filed by her, two youths were picked up and later let off with a warning.

"It seems that she was being used by terror groups to extract information from police and other security agencies and pass it on to the militants," an officer privy to the case said on condition of anonymity.

She has not been forthcoming in her interrogation so far other than dropping names of militant commanders, officials said.

Shazia's arrest comes a week after police nabbed 28-year-old Aysia Jan for carrying 20 grenades at Lawaypora on Srinagar outskirts following inputs about militants trying to smuggle arms and ammunition into the city.

Besides grenades, police also recovered ammunition from her possession.

Her two brothers were detained in connection with the case.

A new strategy:

In the earlier days, terrorists had an unwritten rule and that is they would not target women and children. However over the years, this rule has flown out of the window.

Today women play an active role in terrorism. They are used as honey traps, carriers and also recruiters. In the Asiya Jan case, it becomes evident that they are being used to supply arms and ammunition as well.

On Asiya Andrabi's contact list, Hamid Gul, Hafiz Saeed, Nawaz Sharif and several others

Women are used by terrorist groups for a variety of reasons. The heat on them is relatively lesser and hence it is felt that the agencies would be less suspicious of them.

Moreover by roping in women, terrorist groups also have added that surprise element.

An IB officer tells OneIndia that the increasing number of women in terror groups is worrisome especially when they are used for recruitments. In many cases, we have seen that women generally tend to hold a better sway over the youth and recruitments become easier, the officer also noted.

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