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Only 10 Youths Joined Militancy This Year: J&K top cop

Anees Zargar |
J&K DGP Dilbagh Singh asks militants to surrender and give up the path of violence.
Only 10 Youths Joined Militancy This Year: J&K top cop

Image Courtesy: PTI

Srinagar: There has been a significant reduction in recruitment by militant outfits in Jammu and Kashmir this year with only 10 youths reportedly joining such organisations, according to a top police officer. 

J&K director general of police Dilbagh Singh told reporters in Kupwara district on Tuesday that only 10 Kashmiri youths have been recruited by militant outfits so far compared to 110 youngsters last year. 

Out of the 10, 6 have already been neutralised in different encounters across Kashmir and the remaining four will also be killed if they do not surrender their arms and give up the path of violence,” he said.

Singh added that there is no militant active in north Kashmir who hails from Kupwara, a border district close to the Line of Control (LoC). “There could be some floating militants who move from one area to another,” he said. 

The decline in militancy-related violence in the Valley comes after the Director Generals of Military Operations and Pakistan agreed to renew efforts to observe ceasefire along the LoC and all other sectors in February 2021. There have been fresh instances, however, where Pakistan resorted to unprovoked firing on Indian forces and posts injuring Border Security Forces personnel on October 17. On October 20, a sniper from Pakistan injured a soldier identified as Saurav Kumar in Kupwara’s Keran sector.

Thousands of ceasefire violations (CFVs) were reported along the 3,323-km India-Pakistan border of which 221 km is the International Border and 740 km is the LoC prior to the agreement. As many as 1,040 CFVs were reported in October alone between 2018 and 2020 as militancy spiked in the region. 

Officials privy to the security situation say that as long the fragile ceasefire holds up, the situation will most likely improve. “But there are newer challenges emerging with the infiltration routes being used for narcotics smuggling. Besides, there is an apparent recalibration in the militant landscape,” an Army officer told NewsClick

As violence ebbed in the Valley after a decade of heightened militancy, the areas along the LoC in the Pir Panjal Range like Poonch and Rajouri had increased militant footprints.

In two worst attacks against security forces this year, 10 Army soldiers were killed in Poonch and Rajouri. The week-long encounter in south Kashmir’s Kokernag area, in which two senior Army officers and one cop were killed, was reported close to the forest that leading to the Pir Panjal Range. 

Despite the attacks, the number of local active militants in the region is considered to be at an all-time low since militancy started in Kashmir three decades ago. The number of foreign militants are believed to be around 20-30. A majority of them have been killed this year as compared to local militants after years. About 55 militants have been killed this year with only 12 local recruits. 

According to officials, that southern part of Kashmir, the centre of militancy in the last decade, continues to remain more vulnerable compared to the north. Security personnel are also considering the change in trend as militants no longer disclose their identity after becoming active.

The Army officer said that there will be more clarity in the coming months as winter approaches. 

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