Kashmiri College Students Killing Cops For Small Sums
10 September 2006
Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi: Fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir has become much harder, with militants in the valley increasingly hiring young students to target security personnel for small sums of money. A recent study conducted by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) found that 15 college students had been arrested over the last few months for carrying out attacks on security personnel. All belonged to the Sopore and Bandipore areas. 'This is the new strategy of militants. They had earlier been hurling grenades at our men. But now they have turned to arming students. The guns are tucked inside their robes and the shots are fired from close range,' said CRPF director general J.K. Sinha. 'Sopore and Bandipore, both rural areas, form ideal hunting grounds for hiring such youngsters,' said Srinagar's inspector general A.P. Maheshwari. 'We have nabbed two such gangs - 15 students in all,' he said. Their interrogators found that they had agreed to do the terrorists' bidding for sums as low as Rs.500- 1,500. 'The amount was fixed after assessing the danger quotient of the assignment. They aren't regular terrorists, just hirelings,' Maheshwari said. According to the study, the students were transported to Srinagar on the day of the planned attack and armed immediately thereafter. After the deed was done, they were paid and sent back to their villages to make sure they would not be rounded up. Maheshwari said his men had also arrested some terrorists who had enrolled in colleges to hide their true identity. In the last few months six terrorists have been killed and 22 arrested. 'As we checked their records we found some had cases lodged against them,' he said. All this had led them to find new ways to get at the security personnel. To counter this new menace the CRPF has now launched several community action programmes that make for better people-police interaction. These are complemented with behavioural orientation sessions to sensitise security personnel in their dealings with innocent people.