Grenade throwers for hire in J&K

The hiring cost has risen from Rs 50 (early 1990s) to Rs 1,000, depending on the price index, reports Arun Joshi.

india Updated: Nov 12, 2006 21:39 IST
Arun Joshi

There is nothing new in Ghulam Nabi Mir‘s confession that he threw grenade at a mosque in Tahab in Pulwama in South Kashmir on Fridayat the behest of Hizb-ul-Mujahadeen for just Rs 1,000.

It isa well-known pattern from the day one of the start of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir in 1990. Terrorist outfits in Kashmir have been in business of hiring young boys for throwing grenades.

The motives might have differed.Earlier, it was directed at the security personnel to cause casualties or to scare tourists. Now, they have introduced the cult of sectarian violence.

Of course, the hiring amount has gone up from Rs 50(of early 1990s) to Rs1,000 or even more, depending on the target-in line with the rising price index.

There are several grenade throwers in police custody with the same story line.
"We have some of them in our custody. They have narrated the same story that they were hired to pull pin and throw grenades at crowded places," Inspector General of Police, Kashmir zoneSM Sahai told Hindustan Times over phone.

He recalled that the grenade throwers, picked up at Ganderbal and near Tourist Reception Centre in June-July this year, were the men of the same category.

It is not being ruled out that there might be more such people roaming with grenades having been motivated by greed of money. Grenade throwing is an art of exploiting fascination, innocence and poverty of the children, mostly in their pre-teens.

Their fascination of doing something big is exploited by urging them to throw grenade and then watch its bloody consequences. These are signs of manhood, they are told while being motivated. The lure of the crisp currency note only widens the attraction. For others, it is simply need of money.

If it is simply lobbing at a bus stand, the rates are low. But targeting security forces or VIP cavalcades brings more money. Now the amount is higher, because the grenade throwers have also become conscious of the risks involved, like Ghulam Nabi Mir, who was caught by the crowd and handed over to the army.

Until now there have been more than 5886 grenade attacks in Jammu and Kashmir since 1990. More than 56,000 others have been seized.

"All these consignments of the deadly explosives have come from across the Line of Control," according to Director General of Police Gopal Sharma. There is a possibility of more grenades lying undetected.

The most deadly year was 1994, when 821 grenades exploded. The lowest number of 152 grenade explosions was recorded in 2005.
This year the number has already crossed 150.

It is a preferred too because after pulling the pin, it wreaks havoc in just 10 seconds. Six dead and several others wounded in the Pulwama mosque grenade explosion offer a gruesome evidence of the deadly potential of grenades in the Valley.

First Published: Nov 12, 2006 21:39 IST