Citing “glamourised funerals” of militants as a reason for recruitment of local youths into militancy, Jammu and Kashmir Police’s intelligence wing has asked the state police to take steps to prevent “massive and multiple” funerals of militants in the Valley.
“The funerals of killed militants have become a fertile ground for recruiters,” reads a confidential report sent by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Criminal Investigation Department (CID), to Director General of Police S P Vaid.
The report states, “(The) massive gatherings that are being witnessed in funerals of killed local militants post-2016 unrest is a serious concern which has to be addressed…. These gatherings romanticise and glamourise the terrorists and give boost to militancy.”
Citing many examples of young men who have joined militant ranks after attending the funeral of a slain militant, the report says that militants have been successful in glamourising militancy by appearing at such funerals and offering gun salute.
The report, prepared two months ago, states: “It has been noticed that soon after burial of killed local militant(s), one or two local boys, who have participated in their funerals, join militancy. By giving regular appearance at funerals to give gun salutes, or to put forth their point of view/ideology, active militants have been successful in glamourising subversive activities. The massive turnout at funerals of killed terrorists is an indicator of the radicalisation level.”
The report calls for keeping an eye on potential recruits living in the locality of the slain militant and the need to keep them away from such funerals. These youths, “who have inclination towards militancy”, should be called to the police station concerned and directed to remain there until the burial is over, the report suggests. “The process should be initiated while the encounter is going on.”
The report mentions that after the massive funeral of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Abu Qasim in South Kashmir in 2015, five local youths joined the militant ranks.
“There has been considerable increase in the number of funeral prayers for killed militants in the Valley and gatherings thereof compared to previous years,” the report says. “When foreign terrorist Abu Qasim was killed in October 2015, multiple funerals were offered. Almost 20,000 people participated in his funeral and some militants also gave gun salute.”
“After the killing of Abu Qasim, it was decided to bury killed foreign militants in north Kashmir in order to avoid major law and order problems,” the report points out.
The report has suggested several measures to prevent such big funerals, gun salutes by other militants at these funerals, and to prevent recruitment of fresh militants.
“After the killing of militant/militants, active militants give a gun salute… the miscreants consider it as an act of bravery and this works as an impetus for the local youth to join militancy,” it states. “Intelligence input should be generated about the exit routes of militants from such places and they should be chased and neutralised.”
The report has also asked for making local religious preachers and mosque management committees accountable. “Local imams should be made accountable so that they desist from delivering charged/hateful speeches at funerals,” the report suggests. “(The) local auqaf committee should be taken into confidence so that they may not allow the public address systems of masjid to be used for provocative speeches at the funerals.”