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Deradicalisation Camps in J&K, Look at Alternate Options

Published Jan 25, 2020
Updated Feb 29, 2020

Ironically the idea of holding de-radicalisation camps comes at a time when terrorism is at a low with the DGP Singh stating that Hizbul Mujahideen the group with local youth is on the verge of extinction.

Chief of Defence Staff and former Army Chief General Bipin Rawat stirred up the debate by saying that there should be de-radicalisation camps for youth in Jammu and Kashmir.

“We should start counter-radicalisation programmes while identifying who are the people to have been radicalised and to what degree. Then look at them who are completely radicalised and then look towards the future. What we are seeing in Kashmir, young boys and girls as young as 10 years old have been radicalised, but they can still be isolated from radicalisation in a gradual manner,” General Rawat had said at the Raisina Dialogue 2020 last week.

Director General of Police (DGP) in Jammu and Kashmir Mr Dilbag Singh also seemed to support the chief of defence staff on having radicalisation camps. He said, “If any such facility comes up in Kashmir that will be a good sign, it should happen. It’ll definitely help people, especially those who have gone astray”. “If some sensible kind of arrangement is made where good people from the civil society and experts who deal with the subject and relevant aspects of religion and other things… I think that will be a good development. That kind of thing should be welcomed,” Singh added.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on the other hand appears to be ambivalent. Addressing mediapersons on the side lines of a function at the National Cadet Corps Republic Day Camp in New Delhi on January 22, Rajnath said, “The children of J&K are nationalists. They shouldn’t be seen in any other way.”

He added, “Youngsters are youngsters only. Sometimes, the way they should be motivated, people do not motivate them. In fact, they are motivated in the wrong direction. That is why the kids should not be blamed for this. The ones who are wrongly motivating them should be blamed.” Singh said.

Ironically the idea of holding de-radicalisation camps comes at a time when terrorism is at a low with the DGP Singh stating that terrorists groups are on the verge of extinction.

“Hizbul Mujahideen is on the verge of being completely wiped out in South Kashmir,” Singh said in a media interaction.

What plans are being conceived for mainstreaming youth in Jammu and Kashmir are not clear, possibly there is a perception of widespread resentment of the youth which may in turn give a boost to the militancy in the Valley,

Segregation of youth in camps is perceived to deny them the scope for getting radicalised.

Is this the best way to go about radicalisation however is debatable.

This would imply acceptance of alienation of the population of Jammu and Kashmir in general and the youth in particular.
As a result the best means of radicalisation within communities is felt to be not working or not work.

Then in Kashmir a question arises de-radicalisation against what – is it against Islamic extremism or separatism – the latter being a key trend in the Valley.

There are alternate options for de-radicalisation which need to be explored before setting up such camps.

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