This Article is From Feb 12, 2022

J&K Cop's Son Suspected To Have Joined Terrorists

The 17-year-old's mother says he wanted to become a Major in the Army.

The police say they are working on certain leads and will try to save the teenager's life.

Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir:

In a remote village of Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, a distraught policeman is searching for his teenage son who is suspected to have joined terrorists. For the last one week, Mohammad Ashraf has not been able to sleep. He is looking for any clue to rescue his son Kaisar Ahmad Dar. The 17-year-old who went missing last week, four days before his class 12 board result was out, scored 88 per cent marks.

At their half constructed two-story home, Naseema Begum is still waiting with sweets to celebrate Kaisar's success. Celebrations have now turned into mourning.

Naseema Begum says her son Kaisar wanted to join the army and become a Major. On Friday, he was taken away and pushed towards a dark path. Kaisar quietly slipped out of his home on the Karevas (elevated land) of Tugan village, switched off his phone and disappeared.

"He was always telling me that he wanted to become a Major in the army but I would ask him to become a doctor...His own passion was to join the army," said Naseema Begum.

Sobbing bitterly, she shows us the sweets she had bought in anticipation of board results to celebrate his success. The family knew Kaisar will get the best scores.

"I had purchased these sweets before his result was out. I couldn't wait. Now it's rotting," she said.

Many young and impressionable young people in the valley have been victims of militancy.

The distraught family has put out videos on social media, making pleas to their son to return. They have also appealed to his captors and militant groups to let him return so that he can pursue his education.

"Kaisar, please come back. Please come back. Your sister is waiting for you. Aren't you her protector? How can you leave her alone?" Ghulam Mohammad Dar, his grandfather, said in an appeal to the young boy.

"If you are a militant group or anyone else, please for God's sake set him free. Consider his young age and allow him to go back home," he appealed to his son's captors. 

In the last year, more than 100 local youth have joined militancy - most of them have been killed during encounters by the security forces. Encounters are often proving a zero-sum game. After every killing, more youth are driven into militancy.

The terrorist handlers give their new recruits pistols and ask them to carry out attacks on soft targets - mostly civilians or unarmed policemen.

The police say they are working on certain leads and will try to save the teenager's life.

The family wonders how their teenage son who wanted to join the army is now suspected to have joined militancy. While police have been carrying out frequent encounters, killing terrorists including local young recruits, they have not been able to identify those who push youngsters into militancy, give them weapons and perpetuate an unending cycle of violence.