Jammu and Kashmir police is counselling the "misguided" youth of the valley as part of its efforts to bring teenagers back into the national mainstream. Further, the cops are also trying to prevent them from falling prey to anti-national propaganda.
"Going beyond its mandate of normal policing, J&K Police transforming hearts and minds by instilling national pride in the youth of the Valley," Director General of Police S P Vaid said in a tweet. The police has achieved some success as well in the recent time as a group of children who had participated in a parade held on Pakistan's independence day later took part in the Republic Day parade in 2017 in Shopian district of south Kashmir.
Vaid also posted a video which showed the children, dressed in Pakistan's green-and-white and holding a Pakistani flag, marching past a life size hoarding of slain Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani at Nagbal in Shopian districton August 14, 2016. The latter half of the video shows the same kids taking part in the Republic Day parade, braving snowfall.
"We have identified the children vulnerable to inimical propaganda and started counselling them in small groups so that these kids do not fall prey to militancy," Vaid told PTI. He said this programme has been launched in all 10 districts of the Valley and the results have been encouraging. The police initiative comes against the backdrop ofreports that nearly 100 youngsters, mostly teenagers or youthin their early 20s, had joined militant ranks in the aftermath of the violent protests in Kashmir in 2016.
Protests broke out across Kashmir Valley on July 9, 2016, a day after Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces. 85 people were killed while thousands others were injured in the clashes between protestors and security forces in nearly four months after Burhan's killing. A new trend -- of youth storming the encounter sites to help militants escape by engaging the security forces in stonepelting -- has the security grid worried as Army Chief Bipin Rawat issued a stern warning to those indulging in such acts.
General Rawat's warning came on Wednesday after he paid homage in Delhi to three of the four soldiers, including a Major, who were killed in two separate encounters in Kashmiron Tuesday. The army chief said if they do not relent and create hurdle in the operations of the security forces, then "we will take tough action".