July 4, 2017 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Srinagar: What could be termed as a new headache for the Indian Security establishment the number of local Kashmiri youths aspiring to join militant ranks in north and central Kashmir has gone up, where previously the number of home-grown militants was low.
While the focus of security grid is on south Kashmir, there have been umpteen attempts by the youths in central and north Kashmir to join militant ranks in past three months. Police say they have arrested more than 50 youths trying to join militant ranks. Of them, 41 were arrested from north and central Kashmir, said the media reports.
“During the last few months, 54 youths have been arrested from different parts of Kashmir,” reads the quote from the statement of SP Manoj Kumar. “Of these, 28 youths have been arrested from Baramulla, Kupwara, Sopore, Handwara and Bandipore in north Kashmir,” he further said.
While the Kashmir valley has witnessed a resurgence in militancy in the past couple of months and the Indian security agencies were more focused on South Kashmir, but the major fountainhead of this sudden rise in the recruitment of local youth is associated with the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani Police records show that more than 80 local youths have joined militant outfits in the four districts of south Kashmir —Kulgam, Shopian, Anantnag and Pulwama.
On the contrary, the rise in militant activity is been witnessed in some parts of south Kashmir where there wasn’t any militant presence for about a decade now. The fact that has made the security agencies more apprehensive is that the similar trend is on the rise in both north and central Kashmir.
With referring to the police sources the media reports said that “Until now, north Kashmir mainly had the presence of foreign militants. There were local militants but their number was very low,” said a senior police officer dealing with counterinsurgency operations in the Valley. “Our entire focus was on the south and we somehow ignored north Kashmir.”
It is not just the north Kashmir where youths are keen to join the militant ranks. Police records show that at least 13 boys from central Kashmir, keen to join militant ranks, were arrested from central Kashmir — comprising Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal districts. For over a decade, the Srinagar district was seen as militant-free by the police but during the past one year at least four boys have joined militant ranks, notes the Indian Express (IE).
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