This is a first hand account by two men who surrendered to Indian Army in 2002 and 2003 according to the video published by 101 India present at the end of this post.
Dilabar Aman Chechi surrendered in 2002 under the surrender and rehabilitation policy of govt of India. He now works as a labourer and plays music to make a living.
Ashaq Hussain surrendered in 2003 under surrender and rehabilitation policy of govt of India. He is now a teacher and also a member of village Panchayat.
“First I consider myself a Kashmiri, then I consider an Indian as well because you should sing songs for the nation that provides you food – Ashaq Hussain.”
The following is an attempt to put together the conversation by Dilabar and Ashaq in a sequence for the understanding of the readers.
I was at home when militants came and took me away, by force says Dilabar. He adds that these people from terrorist organizations interpret religion in the worst way possible. They use religion to destroy the lives of people.
Ashaq’s parents kept screaming asking the terrorists to leave him but they did not. They told Ashaq’s parents that they had four boys and one had to be enlisted as a militant.
Dilabar and Ashaq recollect,
Crossing Over and Training
“When we crossed the border, the militants took us in. We were told that Kashmir had been illegally occupied by India. If you are brave, you will be able to free Kashmir. We were trained and received simple instructions to go and kill members of Indian army. The training camps are all in undisclosed locations. They are funded and supported by the army and ISI.
We were trained to use grenades and other weaponry. We were not allowed to move out much and were kept like captives. It was much like how you do not leave the goats and sheep alone and keep them in a shed.”
Infiltration back into India
“A commander would take us to the launching pad and from there a guide would be provided.
The guide’s responsibility would be help us cross the LoC and then he would leave. We would sit in cover during the day without any food or water. Movement was only during the night.
Dilabar’s team took eight days to cross the border to reach Kashmir. To go on a mission he says, they were given Rs 10,000 with which they had to sustain themselves. From this money, we had to give some to family as well. That was barely enough for either me or my family.
After reaching Kashmir, the instructions for us were to receive the trained militants coming from ‘there’ and help the safe passage of the new recruits from here to across the border.
Ashaq Hussain says that he and his team members had been given a Kalashnikov, four magazines, two grenades, a radio set, first aid and some money for use.
Some recruits are lured with money, others are threatened and the end result is the youth destroying their lives for a no-cause.
When we had crossed the border for the first time, we must have been 20-22 men says Ashaq. Half of them are dead, others are in jail adds Ashaq.
Dilabar says, “We always wanted to get back to normal life and were always on a lookout for a chance to leave somehow. In 1998, I tried to surrender to the Indian Army but I was caught and even my family was beaten up. I had no option but to join back the militants.”
Ashaq: We met a man who had surrendered to the Army and told us how he was living a normal and happy life and even had a family. He assured us that he will help us surrender to the Army.
Dilabar: In the August of 2002, I surrendered to Indian Army. My children do not know about my past. What I was, what I was not, I have never discussed with them as they would be disappointed if they found out.
Ashaq: I surrendered in 2003. For parents, their children are their world and they love their children now matter how they turn out to be. My family accepted me back. My mother could not walk when I had returned but she hugged me tight with all her affection. She prayed for my long life.
The text of this video is the translation of the speech of two surrendered Militants who are living normal lives today in Kashmir. The Video was shot by 101 Underground. You can watch it here.