Bengaluru: If you think the Kashmiris turn to militancy for money or they are tricked into it because they lack education, let me tell you, most of the militants in Kashmir are graduates and are militants only to avenge the torture they and their families are subjected to by security forces, Mahroof, a reformed militant, told Deccan Chronicle.
Giving an inside information about how militants work and their source of weapons to carry out attacks, Mahroof said that there was a situation between late eighties and till early 2000 when picking up weapons was inevitable as the excesses in Kashmir was at its peak. Not being able to see the families suffering and youth being tortured in the name of crackdowns and inquiries, compelled many to go to Pakistan.
“It was the time when we begged Pakistan for weapons and visited the country and brought in the weapons. We had no other way. We were already dying and thought will do it fighting for our families,” said Mahroof, who was a militant for 14 years said. Now that the Kashmiris were not getting weapons from Pakistan, they have resorted to stone pelting to vent their anger, he added.
Another reformed militant Farooq Ahmed Dar said that people of Kashmir are not born as militants, but situations were created which make them one. “When a mother is killed in front of her son and his sister is dragged out of house to the roads by her hair, what do you expect that son to do. He will avenge the excess for sure by joining militants. I picked up gun in 1990 when I was a teen after my family was subjected to torture and I was a militant till 1996,” Farooq said.
Farooq said he wanted to study pharmacy and had got admitted to one college in Bengaluru but could not pursue the degree. He now is attached to the AOL’s Paigam-e-Mohabbat.