14-year-old Militant Held
8 December 2007
Arnas: Fourteen-year-old Liaquat Ali was arrested by the police in Bassa area of Reasi district. Ali, a member of the Lashkar-e-taiba, is the son of Gulabo, a Gujjar resident of Mahore tehsil. Ali has been evading arrest since four months. The boy was accompanied by Rafiq, a Lashkar commander. Rafiq was killed in the encounter whereas Ali escaped. He was arrested after a day's search in the dense forest. Speaking to TheHindu at the Arnas police station, Ali gave a detailed account of his life with militants in the dense forest area. He said Rafiq forcibly recruited him when he was returning from school four months back. Initially he was told to act as a courier of weapons and food material for the militants operating in the belt. Later he was taught the use of automatic rifles and grenades by Saria, a Lashkar militant of Pakistan origin who recently crossed the Line of Control. Superintendent of Police Reasi J.L. Sharma said that based on the information given by the boy they recovered two under barrel grenade launchers. At present the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, is not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir due to its Special Status under Article 370.