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Ex-J&K terrorist bares his heart

Kashmiri youth, disillusioned by shabby treatment at terrorist training camps in PoK are yearning to return home, says Tejinder Singh Sodhu.

india Updated: Nov 14, 2006 17:02 IST

In the past ten months more than 75 Kashmiri terrorists who had crossed the Line of control to take up weapons training in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) have come and surrendered before the Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir.

The main reason for this large number surrender is the growing discontent amongst the Kashmiri youth in PoK following the indifferent attitude towards them in the terrorist training camps running in the PoK.
 
"They (People of ISI, Pakistan military and the instructors at such training camps) don't trust Kashmiri boys undergoing training there. The level of their mistrust over us was so much that whenever we had to go out in the market for shopping, the men of Pakistani army spied on us" a former terrorist who recently surrendered before the army told the HT.

Adding he said, "They don't allow Kashmiri's to freely interact with each other, not only this they also monitored our phone calls and censored our letters we wrote to our family members."
 
The former terrorist further said that the Kashmiri youth undergoing militancy training in the camps in PoK are looked upon with 'suspicion' and their every movement gets monitored, "Their men were always present between us so as to monitor whatever we do or say.

They suspect us of being Indian agents. After years of training they don't send us back, as they say that they don't trust us and also that they know that we had come to know about the reality of their hollow slogan of 'Jihad' ."

Adding he said, "In order to continue violence in Kashmir they trust and train foreigners who are given royal treatment there. They send them to spread violence in the valley and hold us back for years together."

The former terrorist said that there is a strong resentment amongst the Kashmiri youth undergoing militancy training in PoK, but they cannot bring it out because of the fear of getting disappeared. "Kashmiri boys there are fed up with the type of treatment they are given by their leaders in PoK, but no-one can raise his voice because  one who did so  was killed and then labelled as disappeared or missing from the camp. I personally knew a few Kashmiri boys who raised their voice and the next day they disappeared to never come back," Said the surrendered terrorist.

Regarding the living standard of the Kashmiri terrorists in such camps in PoK another surrendered terrorist told HT, "The life in such camps is like living in hell, we Kashmiris were kept in small prison like rooms which were locked from outside during night so that we couldn't escape.

We were jam-packed in such rooms, which were filthy and stinky" adding he said, 'the meals that the Kashmiri youth are served was worst than what was given to the animals. Whereas the tanzeem  (group) leaders who are either ISI or Pak military officers lead a luxurious life at our cost.

Some of us were forced to do work at their homes too. We were only given Rs 500 to 1000 a month to spend on our daily requirements whereas the tanzeem  leaders spend lakh of rupees on themselves."

Disclosing ISI's new policy of motivating the teenaged Kashmiri boys to take up the guns the former terrorist said, "Their plan is to fill poison of hatred against India in the bloodstream of Kashmiri youth. So they now target them, as the youth get easily motivated and don't resist any of their wrong doings."

The former terrorist further said that around 3000 Kashmiri youth are presently getting training in different terrorist training camps in PoK and that Manshera area of PoK has five such training camps active with 400 to 500 Kashmiri youths undergoing training there. "They are not trainee but hostages for past five to ten years in such camps and are not allowed to come back.They all have a desire and want to come back and lead a normal life in their homeland." 
 
Commenting on this, the spokesman of the 15 core of Indian army Colonel Hemant Juneja told HT, "I must tell you that Kashmiri youth undergoing training in PoK are now fed up with the treatment they get.

They are kept in small prisons looked upon with suspicion, as they are not trusted. Many who have surrendered say that all those Kashmiri boys across want to come back and surrender and live a life with their family as they have learnt that Pakistan is only exploiting them."