Students join terror groups, Shopian school under radar of probe agencies

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Students join terror groups. Representational image.

Many students have joined terror groups in Shopian district of South Kashmir in India. According to officials, a school in Shopian has come under the scanner of investigating agencies after 13 of its students joined terror groups. The 13 students include Sajjad Bhat, an accused in the February 2019 suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama.

The school’s students mainly hail from Kulgam, Pulwama and Anantnag districts. The intelligence agencies consider these districts to be the hotbeds of militancy. And the schools are the breeding grounds for recruitment of locals into various terror groups, the officials said.

It also had outstation students from Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Telangana. But their number dropped to almost nil after abrogation of Article 370 last year, the officials said.

Most students from Shopian & Pulwama

According to an official, most students and faculty at the school hail from the terror-hit districts of Shopian and Pulwama. So the ideology of terrorism may be flourishing there and in turn affecting the students belonging to other places too.

He feels, at the same time, the outside environment, local population, terror-related activities and regular encounters of militants also play an effective role in propagating the ideology of terrorism.

During investigation of the ghastly attack of February 14 last year, the intelligence agencies found that Bhat, whose vehicle was used in the attack, had done his schooling from this institute. The list of the institute’s students involved in terrorism started expanding with the death of Zubair Nengroo, in August last. Nengroo, a so-called commander of the banned Al-Badr terror organisation, too was a student of the same school.

13 listed terrorists

According to an internal report, at least 13 listed terrorists and hundreds of over ground workers (OGWs) were either students or alumni of this institute. Recently a youth from Baramulla went missing while returning to the school from his home after vacations. Later he was found joined the terrorist ranks. “Most of these 13 terrorists are natives of Shopian and Pulwama,” the report said.

Besides Bhat and Nengroo, the list includes Hizbul Mujahideen militant Nazim Nazir Dar, and Aijaz Ahmad Paul. Security forces had gunned down Aijaz in an encounter on August 4 in Shopian.

The officials felt that institutions have become breeding grounds for recruitment into terrorist outfits like Hizbul Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Al-Badr and Lashker-e-Taiba as stories of killed terrorists depicting them as heroes are spread around through various means.

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