‘Less than 35 youth joined militancy this year so far, six killed, five arrested alive; now eye on summer’
Srinagar, May 27: For the first time since 2016, the local militant recruitment in Kashmir has shown a significant dip with the figure remaining static at less than 35 of which six were killed, five arrested and five shunning the militancy and retuning home, top security officials revealed to KNO on Monday.
Figures accessed by the KNO, suggested that this was for the first time ever since the new age militant commander Burhan Wani started major recruitment drive of local boys in early 2016 from the woods of Tral area of Pulwama district.
The picture in which more 12 militants with Burhan in the middle wearing an Army fatigue and holding an AK-47 assault rifle had swept the social media with many youth getting attracted to it and deciding to join the Hizbul Mujahideen.
Even after the death of Burhan in July 2016, the local militant recruitment saw a surge as figure reveal that in 2017, 220 youth joined militants and the trend continued in 2018 also as the year saw the recruitment of 227 youth picking up arms.
“After we targeted the militant leadership in 2018 along the lower rung cadre, the recruitment still continued. We killed a record number of militants in year 2018. Some 252 militants including 18 top commanders were killed in Kashmir first time in a decade,” a top police officer, privy to the figures revealed to KNO.
He said that after collective efforts, all eyes were on 2019 winter and the start of summer. “Some 35 boys joined militancy this year so far from January. Of them six were killed and five arrested while as five returned home and are living a peaceful life,” the officer said.
He said this is for the first time that the local militant recruitment has shown a significant dip but it doesn’t mean that the challenges are over. “Challenges are still on as summer is ahead while as Yatra too is commencing from July 1. So infiltration is expected but we will try out best to contain the recruitment,” the officer said.
Another officer revealed that apart from the fact that 35 local youth joined militancy this year, more than a 100 youth were brought back well on time, who were about to join militancy. “They had plan in their mind but with the timely help of their parents, police and other security agencies managed their safe return,” the officer said.