Militants on rise in Kashmir- number doubles from last year, says Army


Jammu and Kashmir News

“The lack of opportunities and alienation is driving the local youth of Kashmir towards the gun. The numbers of new militant recruits are not very high as of now but if this trend goes further, it will be tragic for Kashmir,” told Lt Gen D S Hooda General Officer Commanding-In-Chief Northern Command. The government can’t shut its eyes to this issue and it needs immediate introspection, he expressed.

There have been constant incidents of ISIS flag raising in the valley but no intelligence reports have suggested large foot prints of these groups in India or Kashmir. Also, there are attempts to lure the youth into this through social media and that is having some impact on the youth who is suffering because of lack of opportunities. The commander added that the matter needs to be looked into immediately and steps are required to counter. There haven’t been any successful infiltrations across the border this year which shows the internal recruitment has been the cause of trouble lately.

The trend of recruitment of local youths in these outfits is picking up recently and that is unusual as it wasn’t seen in the past several years. As per reports, this year more than 30 youths have already joined and even though the numbers are not too large but contrary to previous years, when it was restricted to single digit, this is something to be looked at seriously. One of the major reasons why the youth is picking up guns is the lack of opportunities here. The youth is getting swayed as the social media has become a powerful tool for these outfits and seeing no opportunities ahead, the youth is easily giving in.

Lt Gen Hooda said that this frequent recruitment is becoming “new tragedy” for Kashmir as the numbers are perpetually on rise. Radicalization, youth engagement, development is how this issue needs to be looked at. These outfits are running through extensive use of Social media and are leaving impact on the youth radically. The trends has suddenly picked up this year and since March nearly 50 have reportedly vanished from the valley, majorly from Awantipora, Shopian, Kulgam, Anantnag and even North Kashmir.

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