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Local radicalised terrorists causing harm to their own society

The killing of 49 plus CRPF jawans in the suicide bombing in Pulwama last week raises many questions and changes many things in Jammu and Kashmir. The anguish and outrage at the suicide bombing has been voiced and felt across the nation. The social media is full of demands for tough retaliatory action. There is need for this rhetoric to cool as the government weighs its options and considers its actions. A lot of diplomatic work remains to be done in getting the international community to name Masood Azhar, the founder and leader of the UN-designated terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed, as a terrorist who must be brought to justice. The JeM was declared a terrorist organisation by the US state department way back, precisely on December 26, 2001. Britain had proscribed it even earlier, in March 2001, and followed it up by banning its splinter group Khuddam Ul-Islam in October 2005. Nothing much has clearly moved on that front.Matters have also turned worse with false propaganda that is being directed to incite passions. As the CRPF itself has pointed out in an advisory: “It has been noticed that on social media some miscreants are trying to circulate fake pictures of the body parts of our martyrs to invoke hatred while we stand united. Please do not circulate/share/like such photographs or posts.” In fact, the CRPF moved fast to curb misinformation, and publicised its helplines to help reporting of attacks against Kashmiris elsewhere.The new generation of terrorists are comprised of radicalised local youth, who are causing harm to their own society. They are motivated and tech-savvy, unlike their predecessors. Since 1989, Kashmiris have lived under the fear of the gun. Decades of human rights violations that the society has witnessed it has manifested itself in the form a deep psychological trauma of its people. Over the years terrorism has emerged as a systematic use or threatened use of violence to intimidate a population, community or government and thereby effect political, religious or ideological change just to achieve personal gains. Modern terrorism has resorted to other option of intimidation, i.e. influence the mass media, in an effort to amplify and broadcast feelings of intense fear and anger among the people. Needless to mention here that acts of terror are carried out by people who are indoctrinated to the extent of following a strategy of dying to kill. They are the ones who have become pawns in the hands of their masters who direct their paths, sitting in the comforts of far off places with all the facilities available to them. Masters have their vested political interests while as pawns seemingly have nothing to gain except suffer for a cause about which they themselves don’t know or know very little.These are difficult times, but we must not shy away from asking difficult questions. Given the huge budget for intelligence, we can and must do better.

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