Updated April 17th, 2024 at 14:02 IST

Naya Kashmir Witnesses Shift as Stone Pelters and Former Terrorists Engage in Democratic Process

Often influenced by Pakistan-backed terrorist and separatist elements, are now demonstrating a shift in their approach towards the electoral process.

Reported by: Arawat Mehraj
Image used for representation | Image:Republic

New Delhi: A significant change is observed in the behaviour of hardcore stone pelters and former terrorists in Naya Kashmir, as they increasingly opt for participation in the democratic process over resorting to violence.

Traditionally known for their role in targeting election deployments and organizing boycott campaigns, these groups, often influenced by Pakistan-backed terrorist and separatist elements, are now demonstrating a shift in their approach towards the electoral process.


The Republic TV conducted interviews with several individuals previously involved in anti-election activities, including hardcore stone pelters and former terrorists. Many of them acknowledged feeling exploited and manipulated under the guise of jihad.

One such individual, Aehtisham ul Haq, a former member of Lashkar-e-Taiba and ISJK, recounted his past involvement in planning attacks on security forces and election-related targets. However, following his arrest and subsequent realization of the futility of violence, he has now become an advocate for peace and urges Kashmiri youth to shun violence and embrace mainstream politics.


Additionally, during the investigation, The Republic spoke to another former stone pelter from Old Town Baramulla, known by the name of "Tarzaan." He confessed to his past involvement in night protests and election boycott campaigns but has since recognized the importance of democratic participation. Tarzaan emphasized the significance of casting votes as a means to choose leaders who prioritize the betterment of the community and provide access to government schemes, particularly in addressing unemployment and other pressing issues.

The Republic's investigation reveals a changing narrative among Kashmiri youth, particularly since the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A. There has been a noticeable decline in shutdown calls and election boycott campaigns, indicating a growing awareness of the detrimental influence of external forces on the region's political landscape.


Moreover, conversations with locals, including former stone pelters and individuals previously engaged in anti-national activities, highlight a shift towards prioritizing democratic engagement as a means to address issues such as unemployment and socioeconomic development.

This transformation reflects a broader trend towards embracing democratic values and rejecting the divisive agendas propagated by Pakistan-backed terrorist groups. As Naya Kashmir navigates through this transitional phase, the emergence of a more politically aware and engaged youth population signifies a positive step towards lasting peace and prosperity in the region.


Published April 17th, 2024 at 14:02 IST