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Teen militant recorded video hailing jihad before attacking Pulwama CRPF centre

Jammu and Kashmir police suspect that 17-year-old Fardeen Ahmad Khanday who went missing in September 2017, was indoctrinated to become a suicide attacker by Jaish-e-Mohammad’s Noor Mohammad Tantry.

india Updated: Jan 01, 2018 15:28 IST
Toufiq Rashid
Toufiq Rashid
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Jammu and Kashmir,Pulwama,Suicide attack
The Jaish-e-Mohammad released Fardeen Ahmad Khanday’s video on Monday after the teenager was killed during a suicide attack at a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) facility in Pulwama in south Kashmir.(Video grab)

A day after five CRPF troopers were killed in a suicide attack by three militants in Pulwama in south Kashmir, the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad released a video of one of the attackers urging Muslims and particularly Kashmiri youth to join the “fight against India’’.

Sitting with assault rifles and ammunition around him, 17-year-old Fardeen Ahmad Khanday, son of a serving police official, looks calm and composed saying that “by the time the video is released I would be in paradise.”

His life as a militant barely lasted three months before it ended in hail of fire on Sunday in the CRPF facility.

Speaking in chaste Urdu, Fardeen who was from Tral in south Kashmir, insists that the “rise of militancy has nothing to do with unemployment as being portrayed by India, but a reaction to Kashmir’s occupation by India’’.

“The infidels have occupied our land, modesty of our women is at stake, so Jihad becomes our duty…. Youth of Kashmir please realise your duties and join the fight for azadi,” he says in the video that runs for almost eight minutes.

Fardeen talks about demolition of Babri Masjid, attacks like Pathankot, Tangdhar, Pulwama police lines among others and urges Indian Muslims to join the ranks of militants. “Even after repeated claims that Jaish-e-Mohammad is finished in the valley I want to tell everyone it is impossible to stop Jaish-e-Mohammad now’’.

The teenager eulogises Jaish leader Maulana Masood Azhar, one of India’s most wanted men and Afzal Guru who was hanged for his role in the Parliament attack.

Son of Ghulam Mohiuddin Khanday, a head constable in J&K Police, Fardeen had gone missing on September 15, 2017.

Nearly a month later, a picture of the missing teenager appeared on social media posing with an AK-47 rifle with ‘Jaish-e-Mohammad’ inscribed on corner of the picture.

Speaking to Hindustan Times a senior police officer said that police had inputs that “Fardeen was inclined towards suicide missions.”

“Jaish militant Noor Mohammad Tantry who was killed on December 26 was responsible for such level of indoctrination,’’ he said.

The four-feet tall Tantray was killed in an encounter in Pulwama. Police officials say they had specific information that the Jaish was likely to “avenge Trantray’s death’’.

Five troopers and three militants were killed in a firefight at a CPRF camp in a pre-dawn strike in Pulwama on Sunday for which the Jaish claimed responsibility.

Three CRPF men were also injured in the attack.

CRPF personnel carry a coffin containing a body of a trooper killed during a gun battle with militants at CRPF training centre, in Lethpora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Sunday. (REUTERS)

This is first time in recent years that only local militants have died in a fidayeen (suicide mission) strike. However, officials believe that the third militant whose body is yet to be retrieved is most likely to be a foreigner.

“Local militants are very rarely involved in such suicide missions but as long as Kashmiri youth continue joining militancy some of them would be motivated and indoctrinated enough to be part of such missions,’’ the officer added.

Director general of police S P Vaid had claimed on Sunday that “almost entire militant leadership” was killed in 2017.

Out of 206 militants killed in 2017, 85 were locals.

First Published: Jan 01, 2018 13:24 IST