Terrorism is not only the problem of India but a global issue. The main cause is the systematic brainwashing of these terrorists in the name of religion. One of the motives of “Operation All Out” was also to crack down on the psychological status of these terrorists. Break their mind so that they can accept reality. It is pertinent to mention here that unless we break the psyche of terrorists, it will not be possible to crack down on terror modules because killing a terrorist will only give birth to another one. Killing the terrorist ideology will pave the way to a peaceful India.
There have been several indications which shows the poor psychological status of terrorists in Kashmir Valley.
India was capable to resolve this issue much earlier, but the appeasement policy and incompetence of our past leaders only fuelled the burning issue and hence the problem intensified with each passing year.
New Trend – Surrender of terrorists
Recent trends in the valley indicated that many terrorists are coming forward to surrender. Even in the mid of an encounter, they appear with their hands up and propose their surrender- a trend which we never saw in the valley in the last three decades. This shows the state of disappointment, lack of trust in their terror commanders and a sense of guilt in the minds of these misguided youths.
Earlier, terrorists used to fight till their last breath. There was no word like surrender taught to them. This reflects the start of the fall of terrorism in the valley. The government must create an example by successfully rehabilitating those boys who mistakenly joined these groups and surrendered later. They came up with lucrative surrender policies in the past too but failed every time to execute them. If they can rehabilitate them well, their stories will guide many others which will not only stop further recruitment but also instigate the misguided youths in these terror groups to surrender and come to the mainstream.
This has a lot to do with the attitude of parents too. I remember an incident published in one of the Kashmiri newspapers when a phone call of Aitmad Hussain Dar, one of the terrorists killed on 01st October 2018 at Kachdoora was made public. He called up his parents and asked them if he should surrender. His father told him that he should either escape or fight. This is no longer the scene in Kashmir right now.
Now the scene is different, usually, the parents are among the first ones to reach encounter site when they hear that their son is trapped in the area. Most parents are wise and openly appeal their wards to surrender through megaphones or mobile communication. We saw so many such incidents in the last two years. During my entire service in Kashmir about two decades back, I never saw such trends.
Visible effect on the psyche of terrorists
Interrogation of recently surrendered terrorists revealed a different story altogether. Nearly all of them were having family issues, nearly all of them had proximity with some of the religious leaders or terrorist who was acting as influencers and nearly all of them were projected a rosy picture of so-called Jihad. Once they were in, they were told that the only way out is death so fight. They were narrated several false stories and were shown doctored videos which belonged to the middle east and Africa.
Today none of the surrendered terrorists wants to talk about his organisation and all of them wants to move back to the mainstream. This is a positive change. One of the surrendered terrorists told during his interrogation that when he refused to kill a local social leader, he was beaten mercilessly by his commanders. This is something which we never saw in the past.
The status of several hardcore terrorists who have been in the Tanzim’s for several years is a different story altogether. They are under tremendous psychological pressure from both their masters sitting across the border as well as security forces. While their masters are compelling them to attack the forces at any cost, our soldiers are there to counter them. This can be proved from a significant reduction in Suicide attacks or Fidayeen attacks on military installations. Instead of carrying out Fidayeen Attacks, Terrorist cadres are hiding in populated areas to save their lives which was not the trend earlier.
Gowing affinity among different Tanzim’s
This is an important trend which emerged in the last 5-6 years. There have been various terror groups in the valley like Lashkar-E-Toiba, Hizbul Mujahideen, Jaish-E-Mohammad, Al-Badr and ISKP. Nearly all of them had their different affiliations, different ideology, a separate set of support mechanism and altogether different strategy to attack security forces. They never gel well with each other and It has happened in the past when these groups resorted to killing each other to achieve supremacy. But now the trends have changed. In some of the encounters in the last two years, we saw terrorists of different Tanzim’s staying together and getting killed in the same operation. Not only this, the combined the set of their OGWs and other support mechanisms to survive. Message in their mind is clear- “Stay together of you have to survive”. This clearly reflects that the terrorism in the Heaven of the Earth is slowly reaching to its end.
It is clearly visible that the youth of Kashmir currently in the terror ranks are now able to understand the nefarious plan of Pakistan as to how they have been fooled for last so many decades glorifying the so-called freedom movement. This is visible in their actions, their psychology and their modus operandi. We will discuss the change of modus operandi of these terrorists and their masters in part 3 of this series.
Amit Bansal is a Defence Strategist with keen interests in International Relations and Internal Security. He is also an author, blogger and poet.
(The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of India.com. The writer is solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.)