“The reinforcements have arrived!” These are the words that every beleaguered military unit, facing superior enemy forces, and on its last stand, wants to hear. Reinforcements bring much-needed relief, and frequently, a chance to save one’s life when all seems lost.
In Kashmir today, “the reinforcements have arrived” translates to “the stone pelters have arrived.” Recently, the telephonic conversation between a slain Hizbul terrorist—Aaquib—and his handler, were recovered by the media. One can listen to the entire audio conversation (in Kashmiri) here, translations are also provided:
It becomes very clear upon listening to the conversation that the arrival of stone pelters is the form of “reinforcement” that terrorists look forward to. The event of stone pelters arriving is counted on by both the terrorist, and his handler, as a major improvement in the ground situation for the cornered terrorist. The arrival of the stone pelters offers a chance to escape, which is counted upon by both the terrorist and the handler. Simply put, stone pelters are the escape strategy for the terrorists!
The stone pelters also perform other functions, such as laying road blocks (usually large stones) on entry points to the encounter site, so that the security forces are delayed in getting their own reinforcements there.
The point to be noted is that stone pelters are a form of “OGW++”. OGW stands for over-ground worker. Namely, a person who helps terrorists with various logistics and communications issues, but does not take part in actual operations. However, stone pelters actually DO take part in operations as noted above—crucially, they constitute the “escape route” of the operation.
The reason for this article is that too many of us still consider stone pelters more as a nuisance than anything else. I posit that they are much more than that—they are part of the operational strategy of terrorists in Kashmir. Given that, we need to prosecute them as such. Stone pelting during an encounter should be prosecuted under the category of “aiding and abetting terrorists.”
What is it about the stone pelters that lets them get away with this? Upon some thought, we realize that it is that they constitute a “human shield” for the terrorists. The security forces are unable to concentrate fire upon the terrorist for fear of harming these “civilians.” That is the definition of a civilian human shield. One then wonders where is the outcry of the human rights brigade who had a collective meltdown when the army tied a stone pelter to a jeep? Human shields are being used in Kashmir in large numbers—by the terrorists, not by the army!
Kashmiri stone pelters don’t spare anyone
Most of us think that stone pelters gather in the Kashmir valley to “protest” against the Bharatiya state and its most visible presence in the valley—its security forces. However, the stone pelter menace is intended to do more: to paralyze the functioning of the valley as a whole. That is part of the Pakistani plan, it appears.
Here is a short (less than 2 minutes) video report of stone pelters attacking a news channel’s car, as well as innocent civilian Kashmiris on a major road in the valley. All of the innocent, defense-less victims had to wait till the Indian Army arrives upon the scene to escort them to safety.
Note also that the news journalist is a lady—not that any of our readers would have suspected stone pelters to have high standards of chivalry.
I end with a startling statistic: this year alone, 26 terrorists have escaped our security forces cordons due to stone pelting mobs.
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