Srinagar: Burhan Wani as a militant commander is widely reckoned as pioneer in using social media to glamorize militancy and attract youth towards the path he was himself treading.
Experts termed his arrival on the scene as the beginning of “new age” militancy where social media is used as the most potent tool for propagation of thought and attracting new cadre. And understandably, this had left security agencies worried pushing them to think of ways to counter militant outfits in the digital space.
However, recent developments have shown that same platforms are working the other way round too. A video of the mother of footballer, Majid Khan of Anantnag-who had recently joined militant ranks- pleading him to shun militancy and return home, went viral on social media, generated massive engagement and finally lead to Majid’s return.
Taking cue from the Majid Khan episode, many other families have been encouraged and they have taken to social media to plead return of their loved ones from the militant ranks. Slowly, such instances are growing and giving momentum to what could potentially turn into a trend.
After Majid Khan, family of Nasir Dar of Summar Damhal Hanji Pora returned home last week, with police claiming the return of another youth from the militant ranks.
Expecting a Majid like home coming for their militant sons, few more families are taking to social media platforms like Facebook with their distressed appeals to their wards asking them to return. Families of youth from Tral in Pulwama and Handwara are few examples.
While Security agencies have termed return of Majid and Nasir as well as a new “trend” and a welcome move, militant outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) that had earlier announced its approval to Majid’s homecoming, says such returns would not be allowed henceforth. LeT claimed that security agencies are forcing parents to appeal return of their wards through social media.