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The Kashmir dilemma: Militant or neighbourhood kid?

Last updated on: February 03, 2006 23:32 IST
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About 5000 Kashmiri youths are undergoing training in different militant camps in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, six ultras who had fled one such camp have claimed.

The militants fled a training camp in PoK and surrendered a week ago in Poonch, after being assured of their safety and fair treatment by the Indian Army through a source, Brigade Commander of Banihal-based 11 Sector Rashtriya Rifles Brig Arumy Raj told the media.

"We received them and accepted their surrender soon after they crossed over to this side of the Line of Control,'' he said.

The militants -- Mohammad Ashraf Baba alias Nazir, Mohammad Sultan Pyair alias Riaz, Aiyaz Ahmad Khojae alias Dilbar, Jehangir Ahmad Wani alias Imran, Sunawala Mir alias Zahoor and Mohammad Altaf -- were produced before media persons at Nagrota, about 11 km from Jammu.

They claimed that about 5,000 youth of Jammu and Kashmir were undergoing training in different militant camps in PoK.

We have succeeded in getting six of our misguided youth back from militant training camps in PoK for the second time.

Earlier, a militant had returned through Nepal, Brig Arumy Raj said.

He said efforts were afoot to establish contact with others undergoing militant training in PoK for their surrender.

Brig Raj said the six militants agreed to return and join the national mainstream after a surrendered militant contacted them in PoK mainly because of the improvement in situation in the state.

Their parents also helped in their surrender, he added.

All of them are trained in the handling of guns and weapons in Bakryal and Chawari camps in PoK.

None of them, however, had the idea who trained them, but they said the trainers looked like Pakistani army personnel.

Talking to UNI, Ashraf, one of the surrendered militants, said that earlier, there existed six to seven training camps in PoK, but some more camps had come up recently.

In reply to a query, he said 5,000 odd Kashmiri youths were at present undergoing training in militant camps in PoK.

He said apart from food, clothes and other items of daily use, the 'commanders' gave them Rs 1,000 each per month.

Ashraf said though most of the Kashmiri youth wanted to return to their homes, 'they were scared of the commanders in PoK'.

He said he was abducted by militants in September 1995 while he was going to school in his village and then taken to PoK.

They have also reportedly made startling revelations regarding the plans of the Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence agency to create trouble in the state.

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Source: source