Why are Kashmiri civilians risking their lives to help militants?
Impression on minds
The militants are the unambiguous heroes, security forces an “abomination” and the jihadist path the only sane response to the prevailing “injustice”. This is the impression that grips the youth, which is metaphorically tattooed to their minds.
“Jihad is the only way to end oppression,” says Mudasir, a gangling youth in his twenties. “You forgot how many were killed and blinded last year?”, reported on a news site.
The news site records and reports the statements of the disgruntled youth . Another resident praises “today’s militants” compared to their “nineties’ forerunners”, saying the latter were more into pursuing their personal agendas than Azadi. “When the nineties’ militants entered a home, they demanded meat and chicken for food. Not today’s militants. They pay you for the food and eat frugal meals,” says Rasool. “Today’s militants are into jihad to earn the blessings of Allah. Not to lord over the land and the people. This is why people support them and are ready to die saving them.”
Alleged persecution of Kashmiris
“My brother was killed through torture by the security forces,” alleges Shafi, brother of Ishfaq, the second civilian killed during the Frisal encounter. “We would have gone looking for justice. But has anybody before us got it?”
Trendsetting the Herd-mentality
‘ Burhan Wani’ was crafted to portray him as an icon. The report states, “The youth know the names of local militants by heart, they hero-worship them and show every inclination to follow in their footsteps. Jihad graffiti is all over the place – on boundary walls and even the sides and facades of houses. There are Burhan parks, Burhan markets and Burhan playgrounds.”
The news report gives an insight into the repercussions of these events leading to misguidance and extreme steps taken by docile young boys, which is tragic. It reports, “Families of militants talk of their sons disappearing for no reason and then surfacing in social media videos wielding Kalashnikovs. One of them was the blogger Abdul, the 22-year-old son of banker Ghulam Rasool. On 11 October, he left home for evening prayers at the mosque but didn’t return. After days of frantic search, Dar was informed by the police that Basit had joined Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. He was killed 53 days later in an encounter at Marhama. Basit had not called his family once in those days, not even his mother.”
“I don’t understand what happened. He was a normal child. He never gave an indication of what was going on in his mind. Never discussed politics or Azadi, which would have alerted me,” spoke his grieving father.