Militant recruitment: Rural militancy more challenging than Urban one

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By KNO on 12/02/2019.

Militant recruitment: Rural militancy more challenging than Urban one

Official records show since 2016, militancy saw steep increase in Rural areas

Srinagar, February 12: The militant recruitment in Kashmir has shown a steep increase with official figures suggesting that the rural areas have emerged as a challenge against the urban areas as far as “local militancy was concerned.”

Official figures suggest that since past 2016, after the killing of young Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani, militant recruitment has shown as steep increase in rural areas as compared to urban areas.

Sources revealed KNO that in 2016, 80 youth joined militants in south Kashmir’s districts of Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnag and Kulgam. “In 2017, 120 youth joined various militant ranks majority of them from South Kashmir districts while as in 2018, 126 youth joined militancy and again majority of them were from Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam,” a top security officer told  KNO.

He said three youth joined militancy in January and one of them from Srinagar. Sources said that the urban districts that include Budgam, Srinagar, and Ganderbal remained relatively calm on the “local recruitment front as not more than 20 youth joined militants from the Central districts since 2016.”

In Rural areas especially southern districts, the reasons for the youth to join militancy includes “mass funerals, peer pressure, family background and radicalization through neighbourhood involvement.”

The year 2018 proved to be successful ever since past one decade for the forces in Kashmir as 255 militants were killed including 20 top commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad and Ansaar-Gazwatul Hind.

The northern army commander lieutenant general Ranbir Singh recently stated that 450 militants were active in J&K of which 400 were active in Kashmir and 50 in Jammu region. This indicates sharp increase in the local militant recruitment that signifies at even after killing of 250 militants in 2018, 450 were still active.