‘Steep rise’ in local youth joining militancy

In just 3 months of 2017, 41 Kashmiris pick up arms

ABID BASHIR
Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 13 2017 12:31AM | Updated Date: Nov 13 2017 1:31AM
‘Steep rise’ in local youth joining militancyAn ace footballer from Anantnag, identified as Khan Majid, 22—a B.Com second year student joins mili

Though street protests across Kashmir have shown a “declining trend” this year, there has been a steep rise in recruitment of local youth in the militant ranks, throwing a major challenge for the security agencies, an official document has revealed.

The document, copy of which is with Greater Kashmir, reveals that at least 41 local boys have joined various militant outfits in just three months of 2017—July, August and September. The month-wise figures of youth joining militancy, according to the document, are: July (14), August (16) and September (11).

The latest case of a local boy joining militancy is of an ace footballer from Anantnag, identified as Khan Majid, 22—a B.Com second year student. His picture along with an AK-47 went viral on social networking sites on past Friday. Majid is believed to have joined Lashkar-e-Toiba.

The revelations about the ‘rise’ in number of local youth joining the militant ranks come at a time when various security agencies have claimed that stone-pelting and street protests have declined across Kashmir this year—compared to last year’s uprising triggered by the killing of HizbulMujahideen commander, BurhanWani.

According to police, at least 13 top commanders of various militant outfits including HizbulMujahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad have been killed since May this year when they rolled out the “operation all-out.” The police figures say that 170 militants were killed this year, so far, including those killed at the Line of Control “while trying to sneak in.”

The official document reveals that even though 50 incidents of stone-pelting were reported in March this year, such incidents showed a steep decline from April.

“In July, 82 incidents of stone pelting were registered from various parts of Kashmir, 72 in August and 36 in September,” the figures reveal.

The “routine” protests, however, have showed a sudden rise, the document mentions. “26 protests were witnessed in July, 41 in August and 78 in September this year across Kashmir. Majority of these protests were related to braid chopping incidents and not law and order,” a source in the police said. The document also claims that 250 to 300 militants are waiting at launch-pads across the LoC to sneak into this side.