Srinagar, Apr 28: At least 28 youth from South Kashmir have joined militancy this month-the largest ever number since the death of popular militant commander Burhan Wani in June 2016.
Highly placed sources said that since April 1, the day when in three different encounters at Shopian and Anantnag, 13 militants and 4 civilians were killed, at least 28 youth from Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian have joined militant ranks. Majority of them hail from Pulwama district. Sources added that no youth from Anantnag district has joined the militancy this month. Most of these youth have joined militant outfit Hizbul Mujhadeen followed by Jaish-e-Muhammad.
Contrary to their belief and perception, Security Agencies have started showing concern over the new trend of youth mostly educated ones joining militancy. A security official wishing not to be named said that they have already taken up the matter with New Delhi and means and ways are being devised that could repel youth from militancy. “Of course, it is a serious issue that needs to be tackled. We had thought that Kachidoora and Dragadh encounters will make youth re-think of joining any militant organization but everything has backfired,” he told news agency CNS.
Reliable sources said that a large number of youth who are keen to join militancy are unable to do so because militant organizations have been facing acute shortage of weapons. “The weapon snatching incidents indicate that militant outfits are facing shortage of arms. This weapon snatching scenario can be viewed from other angle as well. Usually, new entrants are being tasked to snatch rifles from security men. Recent incident, in which new recruits from Hizbul Mujhadeen snatched four assault rifles from security men guarding a temple near Hyderpora, Srinagar proves our point,” the official said.
If sources are to be believed, security agencies have been facing another challenge on part of general public who usually emerge near encounter sites to ensure militants break the cordon. “In such a scenario, civilians get killed which is a grave concern. Killing a man, holding an AK-47 assault rifle can be justified but civilian killings can’t be justified, though most of the civilians get killed near encounters sites are chronic stone-pelters.”
Besides, cease fire violations from Pakistan, in the first four months of the current year, there has been already 35 gunfights in which 141 persons including 51 militants, 46 Forces personnel and 44 civilians have lost their lives. Out of the 46 Forces personnel who were killed, 26 were Army soldiers, 13 policemen, 3 CRPF personnel and 4 BSF Jawans. (CNS)