Kashmir Indepth

Police says, ‘keeping close watch on youth to plug militancy in Kashmir’

Srinagar,:  The Jammu and Kashmir police Thursday claimed that a close eye is being kept on the youth across Kashmir especially those of Srinagar who seem to have come under some influence to join militancy and every effort is put in to keep them away from the gun but this all is not possible without the support of parents, police revealed on Tuesday.
Of late six youth were brought back to “mainstream” in Srinagar who are undergoing “proper counselling” while there has been no recruitment of local boys into any militant ranks since October this year.
Among the six youth who returned back to their families includes a Technology student of Khanyar downtown Ehtesham Bilal, who had purportedly joined Islamic State. Police asserts that all those who are back “have not been arrested, detained or lodged in jail.” According to the police, five youth who had left their homes and later called their parents that they are joining militant ranks were brought back and united with their families. “They were all from Srinagar,” he said.
Inspector general of police, Kashmir range, Swayam Prakash Pani said that he appreciates the efforts put in by the parents and the level of cooperation they extended to the police in bringing back their children. “These children are being counselled properly so that they excel in various fields,” the IGP said.
A source in the police said that after the killing of some militants who hailed from Srinagar, there were strong apprehensions that “some youth may take extreme step and join militancy.” “After the killing of Sajad Gilkar of Nowhatta in June 2017, Mugees Mir of HMT in November 2017, a B.Tech student Esa Fazili of 90-feet Soura in March 2018, an alert was sounded to ensure Srinagar youth are kept away from the gun,” the source said. “There was also an in house report from the ground staff of police that these killings may act as a trigger in reviving militancy in Srinagar. However, things remained under control.”
However, alarm was again raised after the killing of top Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Mehrajudin Bangroo and his aide Faiz Waza, both residents of downtown Srinagar, who were killed in a gunfight at Fateh Kadal on October 17 this year. “Since there were huge funerals for these militants, police and other security agencies remained on alert to ensure Srinagar boys are kept away from the gun,” the source said.
A police official said that every missing report lodged by the parents was entertained seriously and searches were launched with the active support of parents of the youth who had left their youth. “Militancy was not the reason in every case. In many cases, youth had fled from homes for having an affair with a girl or tussle with the parents over some issue,” the official said, wishing not to be named.   He said in rest of the Kashmir, there has been no recruitment since October this year and “that’s really encouraging.”
The official also clarified that the youth who were brought back have not been arrested. “We need to see a lot of things. They are being counselled. Some people are spreading rumours that these youth have been arrested,” he said. “We need to ensure these youth don’t become vulnerable to attacks. Their security is our top priority.

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