Can a 14 Year Old Youth Shot-Dead in Kashmir Be Really Called a Terrorist?

Thousands of mourners thronged the funeral of Mudasir Ahmad Parray, a 14-year-old youth who was shot dead by Indian forces in Kashmir during an anti-terror operation. Mudasir Ahmad Parray has entered the record books by becoming the youngest-ever fighter killed in counter-insurgency operations in the Kashmir Valley.

Mudasir Ahmad Parray was killed alongside two other militants, one a 17-year-old, outside the city of Srinagar on Sunday. Parray, a ninth-grade student, went missing in August before emerging in a photograph on social media brandishing an automatic assault rifle and military knife.

The young militants’ deaths sparked angry protests in the region. A funeral procession Monday for the slain teenagers turned violent as mourners clashed with police, who used tear gas to drive them back.

Militants fighting for Kashmiri independence or a merger with Pakistan have been battling the Indian troops since the late 1980s. But this year has been the deadliest in a decade in Kashmir, with rights monitors saying more than 500 people have been killed from armed conflict.

Many young men die fighting Indian troops but Parray’s death shocked even a region weary from years of bloodshed. At 14, police said he was the youngest known fighter to have died in the insurgency. He was killed in an 18-hour siege by Indian troops in Hajin, outside Srinagar. The home Parrey and the two other militants were holed up in was blasted to rubble.

“He had never failed in school exams,” mourned his father, Rashid. The teenager also sometimes worked as a labourer to help out with family expenses, he added. Police believe the teenagers killed in Sunday’s fighting joined the militant group around August.

According to experts that EurAsian Times talked to, Mudasir Ahmad Parray could have been counselled and saved, had he been alone, but he was holed with two other militants and the ferocious encounter lasted for about 18 hours. It was simply impossible to save him, but youngsters like Parray need to be identified at an early stage, counselled and ensure they don’t engage in illicit activities.

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