CRPF Officer Condemns Militants Using Children To Further Their Cause In Kashmir

CRPF Officer Condemns Militants Using Children To Further Their Cause In Kashmir

9 August 2012
ANI


Srinagar: The Inspector General (Operations) of the paramilitary, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), B Ramesh, on Thursday condemned militants for using children to accomplish their goals in Jammu and Kashmir. Reacting to a spate of grenade attacks in the Kashmir Valley, which has left security forces worried, Ramesh said that militants are becoming desperate. The valley was rocked by four grenade attacks in towns of Sopore, Baramullah and Srinagar. Speaking to reporters here, Ramesh said: 'They have become desperate definitely, in the sense that they are engaging the students, engaging youth, engaging children of the age of 11 years old, is nothing but some kind of deterioration in their own, perhaps, thinking and strategy. This kind of attitude is not good for the society and is totally irresponsible. And I am sure that the Kashmir society will condemn this, not only the Kashmir government, not only the society.' The policy of using civilians in grenade attacks has been pursued by militant organisation for a few months now. In an earlier instance on May 19, a police station, once again at Sopore, was subject to a grenade attack. Even more alarming is the fact that CCTV coverage has revealed the involvement of teenagers in hurling of grenades at Sopore; the attack injured three people, damaged several vehicles and spread panic in the town. The boys, being minors, have since been released from custody after counselling. Reacting to this, Ramesh said that the security forces will provide psychological trainings to children and youth in area and will try to engage them in productive activities. 'We caught hold of them on camera for the first time, in the 20 years of militancy in Kashmir and it's a very (big) eye-opener to all of us and that is why I am soliciting the services of some child psychiatrist also so that we can divert the children towards productive activities. This is because the children do not know to differentiate between a toy and a grenade. They may be thinking that it is just a stone and that is how the terrorist elements are playing with the children. This is a totally condemnable act,' he said. It was about a decade ago that militant organisations changed their strategy from direct engagement to stand off grenade attacks. In the initial stages, militants lobbed the grenades themselves, but later, they started using children. he restive region has witnessed numerous militant attacks, insurgency, and infiltration attempts from across the border in the last two decades. The row over Kashmir remains an emotionally charged issue for both India and Pakistan.