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05-12-2021     3 رجب 1440

Children as Combatants

April 12, 2021 |

The death of Faisal Gulzar, a 14-old-boy who was killed in a gun battle in an orchard in Shopian on Sunday, has once again highlighted the use of child combatants in the protracted violence in Kashmir. He is perhaps the youngest militant to have died in a counter-insurgency operation in Kashmir in recent memory. Faisal was the only brother among five siblings and he belongs to a poor family. His father works as a second hand car broker. He was reported missing by his family on Thursday, 8 April when he had left home to bring grocery. His mother and father had issued a passionate video appeal to militants to stop him from picking up arms. Indeed, as his wailing father pointed out in his video appeal to him, the first jihad for him was to take care of his four sisters and get them married and also to take care of his parents who are moving into old age. But that was not meant to be. On Saturday evening, when security forces laid siege around an orchard near his home, Faisal made his last phone call to his father and sought forgiveness of his parents. On Sunday morning, Faisal was killed along with two more militants, one of them his neighbor who is believed to have radicalized him. Using children for military or militant operations is a violation of various national and international conventions on human rights and children. Article 38 (3) of the Convention of the Rights of the Child expressly prohibit the recruitment of children below the age of 15 to engage in hostilities. However, children continue to become prey of violence not just in Kashmir but across the world wherever there are internal and inter-state conflicts. On 9 December 2018, 16-year-old Saqib Bilal and 15-year-old Mudasir Rashid were shot dead in a huge encounter in Mujgund area of Srinagar outskirts in which seven houses were also destroyed. Both were affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit. A 15-year-old Faizan, who lived in south Kashmir’s Tral town, was shot dead by security forces in an encounter. When Faizan was killed, he was just two months old in militancy. While there are international conventions that expressly forbid armed groups from using children as combatants, it is also primarily the responsibility of parents at large to keep a watch on their children. The killing of Faisal also shows that there is a need for introspection at societal level also.

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Children as Combatants

April 12, 2021 |

The death of Faisal Gulzar, a 14-old-boy who was killed in a gun battle in an orchard in Shopian on Sunday, has once again highlighted the use of child combatants in the protracted violence in Kashmir. He is perhaps the youngest militant to have died in a counter-insurgency operation in Kashmir in recent memory. Faisal was the only brother among five siblings and he belongs to a poor family. His father works as a second hand car broker. He was reported missing by his family on Thursday, 8 April when he had left home to bring grocery. His mother and father had issued a passionate video appeal to militants to stop him from picking up arms. Indeed, as his wailing father pointed out in his video appeal to him, the first jihad for him was to take care of his four sisters and get them married and also to take care of his parents who are moving into old age. But that was not meant to be. On Saturday evening, when security forces laid siege around an orchard near his home, Faisal made his last phone call to his father and sought forgiveness of his parents. On Sunday morning, Faisal was killed along with two more militants, one of them his neighbor who is believed to have radicalized him. Using children for military or militant operations is a violation of various national and international conventions on human rights and children. Article 38 (3) of the Convention of the Rights of the Child expressly prohibit the recruitment of children below the age of 15 to engage in hostilities. However, children continue to become prey of violence not just in Kashmir but across the world wherever there are internal and inter-state conflicts. On 9 December 2018, 16-year-old Saqib Bilal and 15-year-old Mudasir Rashid were shot dead in a huge encounter in Mujgund area of Srinagar outskirts in which seven houses were also destroyed. Both were affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit. A 15-year-old Faizan, who lived in south Kashmir’s Tral town, was shot dead by security forces in an encounter. When Faizan was killed, he was just two months old in militancy. While there are international conventions that expressly forbid armed groups from using children as combatants, it is also primarily the responsibility of parents at large to keep a watch on their children. The killing of Faisal also shows that there is a need for introspection at societal level also.


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Owner, Printer, Publisher, Editor: Farooq Ahmad Wani
Legal Advisor: M.J. Hubi
Printed at: Abid Enterprizes, Zainkote Srinagar
Published from: Gulshanabad Chraresharief Budgam
RNI No.: JKENG/2010/33802
Office No’s: 0194-2451076, 9622924716 , 9419400056
Postal Regd No: SK/135/2010-2019
Administrative Office: Abi Guzer Srinagar

© Copyright 2018 brighterkashmir.com All Rights Reserved.