Srinagar, Feb 14: Ever since the killing of young Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in July 2016, the local militant recruitment in the form of new age militancy has been a cause of worry and a big concern for the security grid. The recruitment, however, has taken place more in rural areas of Kashmir with Urban areas showing no serious trend prompting the forces especially police to go for “tangible exercise to plug the ways and means hooking local boys into militant ranks.”
Official figures available suggest that since past 2016, after the killing of Hizb commander, militant recruitment has shown as steep increase in rural areas as compared to urban areas.
Sources revealed Kashmir Indepth, 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 Kashmir Indepth on the condition of ayonimity.
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.”
Security agencies claimed that year 2018 proved 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. Sources said that even if there were some successful infiltration bids, the figures of active militants still reveal that “local militant recruitment had been taking place though silently.”