‘It’s A Matter Of Concern, Analyzing What Motivates Them’
Srinagar, June 12: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said highly qualified youth in Kashmir have started joining militancy and it’s a “matter of concern”.
“It is a matter of great concern,” Omar told media persons on the sidelines of a police function here organized to award Sher-e-Kashmir Police Medals for Gallantry to various police officials and personnel of at the Investiture Ceremony. “We have also found that militants killed in recent encounters were qualified and most of them were products of Kashmir University and Islamic University,” he said.
Omar said the least qualified of them was a 12th standard student. Many militants killed in recent encounters in Kashmir were well-educated, some of them having professional degrees. They included 20-year old Saifullah Ahangar, killed in an encounter in May in Pulwama. He had a diploma in civil engineering.
Another militant Masiullah Khan from south Kashmir, killed in 2011, had a degree in mechanical engineering.
Sajad Yousuf, a Hizbul Mujahideen militant from Pulwama district had a post-graduate degree in Islamic Studies. Others included Omar Ahsan (22) who was undergoing post-graduation in Physics and Lashkar-e-Toiba militants Muzamil Amin and Hilal Ahmad Rather, both of whom were qualified in Islamic teachings.“We have noted it and we will have to work on it what motivated them to join the militancy,” Omar said. “There is a need to do an analysis.”
However, he hurried to say that there was nothing new in qualified youth joining militancy. “As you see recruitment of militants at the local level is negligible and this is a big thing,” Omar said.
He said in the past the number of youth joining militancy was so large that it was almost impossible to focus on individual cases. “Today each single case is being focused upon,” he said.
Omar contradicted Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on his written reply in Rajya Sabha last March that Government of India has not received any formal request from J&K government for revocation of the contentious Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state. “It was absolutely wrong,” Omar said.
He said Parliament was to “some extent” misinformed that there was no proposal from J&K for withdrawal of the controversial Act.
However, he welcomed Shinde’s latest statement that Government of India was considering demand of J&K and other states for withdrawal of the AFSPA and a final decision in this regard would be taken only after taking all stakeholders on board.
“It is good that the Home Minister acknowledged our stand (on AFSPA revocation) at last,” Omar said.
The Chief Minister said talks on AFSPA revocation were going on between the State Government and Government of India.
Omar said he was hopeful that the discussions would reach “right conclusion”.
“I am hopeful we will make a start on revoking the law,” Omar said.
To a question that Army was opposing withdrawal of the AFSPA from J&K Omar responded: “There is nothing new in it and it is government of India’s problem to get it resolved.”