Soldiers are protecting the country and civilians by standing all day and night on the borders. But they get attacked not only from the enemies outside the border but by the militants inside the border. And the attack of militants can happen at them anytime. The life of soldiers and also their family remains at the risk. But the soldiers said that these attacks of militants would not deter them from joining the Indian Army.
On May 9, the brutal murder of Lt Umar Fayaz and on November 25, the murder of Territorial Army Sepoy Irfan Ahmad Dar were to discourage the youths from Kashmir to join Army. But, the army soldiers said these attacks would not discourage them to join Army.
In fact, 20 officers from Jammu and Kashmir have passed out from the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun over the past one year.
An army soldier gave a very strong statement, “These attacks cannot stop people from joining the armed forces and serving the country. They are also a means to earn a living. However, we are cautious when we go home on leave. Attacks on off-duty soldiers do make us hesitate when we interact with civilians. The rule is not to trust anyone.”
A soldier from South Kashmir stated, “Apart from immediate family members, everyone else who knows me back home thinks that I am posted in North Kashmir. These attacks do bring about a change in our lifestyle. We are definitely more distrustful. Things are worse in areas like Anantnag, Pulwama, Sopore and Shopian because terrorists get a lot of local support there.”
Added the soldier, “I go out of my way to ensure that I do not become part of any kind of disagreement when I am out with my family. Because I am in the armed forces, I am a very viable target for local militants, who might actually be trying to earn brownie points with their group leaders by killing a government employee. Most of us are worried when we go back home.”
As per the statement of retired Army Havildar, Mushtaq, “The worst part is that since here the local militants are more active, they know the households which have members in the defence forces. Terrorists at times try to find safe haven in these residences’ and when denied, they start killing family members.
All government employees are under threat from militants because they think we are going against their concept of Azadi’. But we are just serving our country.”