Terrorists using human shields in Kashmir

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by Farooq Ganderbali
The terrorists modus-operandi to use civilians as human shield during an encounter with the security forces has once again come to fore in Kashmir. The Hajin encounter incident, where the terrorist held a 12-year-old minor boy hostage and later killed him during an encounter, marks a shift in the strategy of terror groups of using house owners and their families, where they are hiding, hostage and even using them as human shields.
In the past the terrorists would allow the occupants to leave the house after storming the house during an encounter. But this did not happen in Hajin incident and in a departure from the past practice the terrorists instead held the owner’s son hostage thus hampering the entire operation. Though the security forces managed to successfully eliminate the two terrorists, the killing of a minor boy held hostage by the ultras was painful.
In the recent weeks, the casualty of jawans is the fallout of the terrorists holding the civilian hostage as forces had to extremely careful in protecting the life of an innocent person. Even during peak of militancy, terrorists would allow the local civilians to leave once they entered any house. But now it is not happening now and in fact security jawans sacrifice their lives to save the innocent civilians during the operation. This is a dangerous trend and with terrorists planning to increase attacks on security forces.
There have been ups and downs in the situation since the beginning of insurgency in Kashmir in 1989. The Pakistani stooges propaganda is that security forces take humans as a shield; but the reality is that terrorists use people as human shields when they are caught. The Hajin incident is enough evidence to open the eyes of those who blame the security forces of using human shields Kashmir. This incident must also open the eyes of those so-called champions of human rights, who shed crocodile tears on the miseries of Kashmiris just for an eye-wash. Let separatists, who call strike on every small and big issue in Kashmir, ask people to protests against the terrorists for using human shield in Hajin. But the reality is that they can’t because they are stooges of Pakistan and terrorists.
The terrorists and their sympathisers are trying to glamorise the terrorism, who wear camouflage dress and wield gun. We have to channelise the youth energy in a positive manner. It was in this backdrop that Army Chief Bipin Rawat had last year warned of tough action against those in the Valley trying hamper counter terror operations. Majority of Kashmiri boys are not directly linked with militancy but are lured into violent protests because of money.

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