FAROOQ WANI Security agencies are baffled with a new modus operandi being adopted by terrorist outfits in Kashmir Valley where they have now started using civilians as human shields during encounter with the forces. Security officials familiar with the operation said in the past terrorist would allow the occupants to leave the house during encounter. This is a dangerous trend and with terrorists planning to increase attacks on security forces we hope this incident is an exception, a senior security official said. Terrorists groups are mobilising local support with help of their Over Ground Workers. Even during peak militancy we did not witness anything like this as terrorists would allow the local civilians to leave once they entered any house said a local. Glaring example like this was largely seen during the encounter between forces and terrorists in Hajin area of north Kashmir in which one innocent boy got killed. On a day when the Security Forces are battling terrorists in encounter at four locations across Kashmir, the picture in Hajin was the most dim. Since yesterday when the encounter started the Pakistani terrorists have been fore-fronting their excesses in many ways. The news channels have been reporting of the hostage crisis in Hajin where one elderly and one minor had been held hostage by two Pakistani terrorists. For long some criminal elements in Hajin, for a few rupees, have been hosting Pakistani terrorists. These terrorists have killed six civilians in the past to create fear among the locals. The Security Forces with abundant help from the locals and the Auqaf Committees were able to secure release of the elderly hostage. The security forces had to delay their operations in the hope that the young life could be saved. They kept a tight cordon throughout the night in the hope that the terrorists might relent. An old man and a woman, both parents of the hostage boy Aatif Mir (12 years old), are seen in two separate videos appealing to the terrorists to let the boy go. Even in the face of grave danger to their son they call out the ‘Jihad’ as ‘Jahalat’ (ignorance and barbarous behaviour). He calls out the ‘Jihad’ in which minors are being used as human shields by terrorists. He also goes on to say that we are too much troubled by you all and you all are also troubled (hinting at the false ‘Jihad’ indoctrination being given to terrorists back in Pakistan). The appeals did not have any affect, in the end the young boy was murdered by the terrorists before themselves getting killed by the Security Forces. The Lashkar-e-Taiyyaba habitually issues long winding press release after every encounter or terrorists action claiming responsibility and eulogising the dead terrorists. It never makes a mention of any civilian deaths. Today there is absolute silence from all corners. Pakistan’s control over the terrorists and separatists is amply evident. The use of minors, holding minors hostage, exposing minors to dangerous explosives and using minors as human shields in the name of the so called ‘Jihad’ will continue at the behest of LeT and conveniently ignored by the separatists.
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