On 23 Aug 1998, a group of 23 young Kashmiri boys were apprehended, while attempting to cross the Line of Control in Gurez sector. These young boys were compelled into militancy through delusion of falsehood by a fellow Kashmiri by the name of Abdul Hamid alias Gada, Bambar Khan resident of Ganderbal for joining into terrorist tanzeems and were being taken to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir for getting trained in terrorist activities.
Over a period of 10 days from 4 Aug to 14 Aug 1998, Bambar Khan with the help of local overground workers had collected these 23 young boys all within 18 years of age, either by force or through radicalization and had kept them in dense jungles of Ajas. Thereafter the group moved across the Shamsha Barirange into Gurez Tulail Valley with the end state that the entire group was to cross over into POK and train in terrorist activities and to re-infiltrate into Kashmir to enact the agenda of the masters of separatists i.e Pakistan.
On 23 Aug 1998 someone informed Brigade Headquarters that a large number of youths were seen in the jungles near the Kishenganga River. An operation was led by then Capt Budhwar and this group of youth was sighted in the lower reaches of the forest, fortunately the soldiers held fire as the terrorist accompanying these youth, had run away taking cover of the thick foliage and vegetation. These young boys immediately surrendered to Indian Army soldiers.
The troops quickly took control of the situation and helped them to cross the river which was in space and escorted them to Gurez where they were medically examined and were given food, water, and warm beds to sleep. These boys were reunited with their parents to join mainstream by Gen VP Malik, then COAS at BB Cantt in front of the civil administration.
It is important to note that each one of them today is a good parent to a sum total of 43 children and are leading a normal and happy life as good citizens of India.
(This is a Press Release issued by the Press Information Bureau's Defence Wing and has not been edited by MVI's editorial team)