Involvement of Hizbul Mujahideen behind the grenade throwing incident on Bareilvi cleric in Pulwama on November 10, which left six dead and 60 others injured, has once again unmasked the Islamic terrorist organisations in Jammu and Kashmir that are killing innocent people in the name of freedom movement. They are now luring poor boys through money in their terror operations.
Since the eruption of terrorism in the State in 1989, more than 5,886 grenade attacks have so far taken place in Jammu and Kashmir, which claimed the lives of scores of people, including persons from security forces and innocent people. 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 in which about five dozen people were killed while more than 500 sustained injuries. Maximum among the victims, both killed and injured, were innocent civilians who became target of Islamic terrorist elements for whom grenade attacks have been the most preferred vehicle of terror this year.
The spate of attacks, some of them targeting tourists and pilgrims, had resulted in an alarming decrease in the number of tourists to Kashmir during the otherwise peak season. The terrorists even lobbed one grenade into a bus carrying Amarnath pilgrims on June 21, injuring five. According to a senior police officer of the State, lobbing grenades at unsuspecting crowds before making good their escape has remained the modus operandi of these grenade throwers. And the biggest problem to check such explosions and catch the grenade throwers is that once the terrorist has hurled the grenade, he can easily mix with the crowd since he has nothing to hide, he added.
The grenade throwers are from irregular cadre of terrorist outfits who are hired to target the civilians. It is a well-known pattern from the day one the terrorism started in the State. Of course, the hiring amount has gone up from Rs 50 (of early 1990s) to Rs 1,000 or even more, depending on the target-in line with the rising price index.
As per the revelations made by 22-year old Ghulam Nabi Mir alias Shora, who had thrown the grenade on the Bareilvi cleric on November 10 and was captured by people, he had received cash payment of Rs 1000 for this deadly task. This irregular terrorist of Hizbul Mujahideen was a labourer and had been doing this job for money.
There are several grenade throwers in police custody with the same story line. They have narrated the same story that they were hired to pull pin and throw grenades at crowded places.
The grenade throwers, picked up at Ganderbal and near Tourist Reception Centre in June-July this year, were the men of the same category and it is not being ruled out that there might be more such people roaming with grenades having been motivated by greed of money.
The lure of the crisp currency notes only widens the attraction. For others, it is simply need of money. From the statement of Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad in last session of the State Assembly that so far over 57,000 grenades had been seized from the terrorists by the security forces since the first grenade attack shook the region, one can imagine well how many grenades must still be in the possession of the terrorists.
For the terrorist outfits operating in Kashmir, grenade throwing is an art of exploiting fascination, innocence and poverty of the children, mostly in their pre-teens. 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.