Srinagar: Top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo has alleged that government forces are forcing families of militants to make appeals to their sons to return home.
In an audiotape that went viral on social media on Saturday, Naikoo said that militant outfits do not “force any Kashmiri youth to join their ranks, nor do they force anyone to stay with them.”
“The Indian forces are going to the homes of militants to press them for the return of their kin. They are being pressurised to make appeal to their sons in videos to return home,” he said. “The Indian forces want to show to the world that the Kashmiri youth are being forced to pick up gun… to show the world that militants lure Kashmiri youth towards it.”
The audiotape surfaced days after footballer-turned-militant Majid Khan returned to his home in Anantnag following his parents’ appeal. Since then, several families of active militants have appealed through videos or news media to their sons to return home.
The 27-year-old Naikoo said in his audio message, “He (Majid) himself wanted to return to his home and we let him go… it is not just that his mother appealed for his return. We don’t send anyone home on anyone’s request/appeal.”
He described “Jihad in Kashmir as top farz”, saying, “There is no need of approval from anyone’s mother or father to participate in this fight.”
“That is why we have not sought (parents’) approval to join the ranks. (And) we know Allah won’t get sad for such a step,” he said.
Naikoo succeeded Muhammad Yaseen Yatoo alias Mehmood Gaznavi, who was killed in Shopian this year, as the Hizbul Mujahideen’s operational commander in Kashmir. Naikoo hails from Pulwama and joined the Hizb in 2012. So far he has released several videos and audiotapes this year and also appeared at the funerals of slain militants.
“Let me make it clear to my nation that Indian government neither has any sympathy for our mothers nor any concern for our youth. If India had any sympathy for our mothers and sisters then dozens of incidents like Kunan-Poshpora would not have happened,” he said in his latest audio message.
The Hizb commander explained that youths who intend to join militancy are “made to understand what and which sacrifices are expected from them after they join the ranks”.
“Not only emotions, the leadership discreetly examines their maturity. We don’t have any problem; hundreds of youths are ready to join ranks but we keep only a small number active in the field,” Naikoo said.
He said that militants respect the love, pain and emotions of their mothers. “We know how much a mother loves her son,” he said, invoking a verse from the Quran. “However, our Islam teaches us that more than our mothers we should love Allah and His Prophet (SAW) more,” he said.
Addressing the mothers, Naikoo said, “If we don’t give sacrifices for Islam, then who should we ask for it? If for the sake of Islam, we can’t stay away from our families, then who will fight for Islam? O! my mothers, this religion belongs to us so we have to fight for it. We have to seek Azaadi and for that we have to give our blood! Only emotions and thoughts don’t get freedom.”
He said that militants have not picked up the gun “at anyone’s behest, nor shall we shun the arms at anyone’s behest”.
“We want to assert this to our nation that we shall not betray our national sacrifices,” he said, “(and) Insha Allah, we won’t let anyone betray these sacrifices.”
“No Indian propaganda can make us bow our heads… our heads can be cut but not bowed down. This fight will continue till there is complete end to Indian occupation,” Naikoo said.