How a peace loving boy became a militant by circumstances

Dar had joined militancy just two months ago when the ongoing unrest was at its peak. According to estimates of J&K Police, around 60-70 youth went missing in Kashmir in the first 100 days of the turmoil, the highest such number in such a short period since early nineties.

How a peace loving boy became a militant by circumstances

Basit Rasool Dar, the militant killed  by the security forces in an encounter at village Hadigam, was a B Tech student the Valley's Islamic University of Science and Technology. What is more, he was an avid blogger also, who wrote short narratives pieces on the situation in Kashmir.

In his last blog, written on June 30, Dar talks about the situation in Kashmir by fictionalizing the alleged everyday harassment by the "men in uniform".

“Show me the identity card”, he asked but with the eyes turning red with anger.

"I asked ----- for enjoying nature we need an identity card. What is the identity card? But there was no response. He then asked me to get up and began to beat me like I was drum being beaten on someone’s marriage".

Dar had joined militancy just two months ago when the ongoing unrest was at its peak. According to estimates of J&K Police, around 60-70 youth went missing in Kashmir in the first 100 days of the turmoil, the highest such number in such a short period since early nineties. Police apprehends that most of them, if not all, may have joined militancy, a fact also borne out by the new militant videos on the social media which have shown some new faces. In fact, thirteen militants are said to have joined in Baramulla, a district that has seen little local militancy in recent years.

This is already leading to a visible rise in the violence. As against 174 fatalities in 2015 – 113 militants, 41 security personnel and 20 civilians - J&K has witnessed 233 killings so far this year – 148 militants, 74 security personnel and 11 civilians.

Basit, as it turns out, was one of them. According to security forces, he was killed shortly after the encounter began in the morning. Though, he was allegedly asked to surrender, he refused to do so, a trend that has put paid to the recent attempts at a security outreach to the local militants.

In the recent encounters in Valley, security forces have used the loud speakers to call on cordoned off militants to surrender, but they have refused to do so and instead opened fire on the forces besieging them, triggering gunfights which invariably lead to their deaths. The policy was implemented after the directions passed by the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti calling on the security forces that every effort must be made to spare local militants during encounters.

However, the strategy has some modest success to its credit. "So far five recently turned militants have laid down their arms. “Three belong to South Kashmir and two are from North Kashmir. Efforts are on to reach out to others as well," Special Director General of Police, Dr S P Vaid, told local media.

Unfortunately, Dar refused to take the offer, turning out to be more highly motivated, if not more trained, than his colleagues.

His had installed the snow-falling effect on his blog with snowflakes drifting down on his write-up titled "Yes, This is Kashmir". A paragraph from the piece in a narrative form gives an insight into the mind of the now deceased militant.

The man said, “Where are you from?”

“I am from the country known as land of peace".

“What is your name?” the question followed. “My name is humanity.”

Now I asked, ”Who were the people beating me?” “Men in uniform”, the man replied.

Again I asked. “Why were they beating me?”

“They were not beating you they were just relaxing their muscles”.