Measures to keep youth away from militancy to continue, all eyes on July, August months, say officials
Srinagar, July 12: The security forces in Kashmir have finally managed to plug the local militant recruitment in Kashmir first time since 2017 as less than 40 youth have joined militancy this year so far even though forces claim that it were keeping a close watch on the coming months, especially July and August, top officials in the security grid revealed to KNO.
According to the report, less than 40 local boys have joined militancy so far this year, three times less than in the comparative periods of 2017 and 2018. “Till June 30 this year so far, only 38 local boys joined various militant ranks. The figure is lowest ever since 2017 when new age militancy started picking up in Kashmir,” the report reveals. In 2018, till June 30, the number of local boys who took to arms was 46, the officials disclosed to Kashmir News Observer (KNO).
“A majority of these youth hailed from southern districts while only four belonged to northern districts,” the report reveals. An official privy to the report said a close watch was being kept on whether the local militant recruitment will pick up in July and August. “But it showed a declining trend,” he said. In 2018, the report says 29 youth joined militancy in Kashmir up to May 30. “In total, less than 40 youth joined militancy this year so far, which is lowest ever since 2017.”
“Given the declining trend till June this year, the recruitment won’t pick up the way it used to in the past two years,” the official said. “A close watch will be kept on crucial months – July, August and September this year.”
According to the findings available with the police, the “traditional towns and villages in south and north Kashmir that showed the upward trend of local militant recruitment since 2017 have also shown satisfactory results.”
“The youth in these areas are less inclined towards militancy which is a good sign. Though many youth who were about to join militancy were brought back by the timely intervention of their families and the police,” the official said. “Uploading videos, posing with guns on social media that earlier had become a trend has also shown a declining trend.”
According officials, 1056 militants including 30 top commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad and Ansaar-Gazwatul Hind were killed since May 2017.
An Army officer claimed that post Pulwama suicide attack on CRPF convoy, 45 militants were killed of which 25 belonged to Jaish-e-Muhammad, the militant group that claimed responsibility for the car bombing that left 40 paramilitary troopers dead. A senior police official said that the killing of top commanders of various outfits caused a major dent to locals being recruited into militancy.