Srinagar: Even as the army and other government forces launched the much-hyped operation ‘All Out’ to wipe out militancy in Kashmir, highest number of local boys joined the ranks of various militant outfits in Kashmir in a decade.
This is also pointing out the fact that hard line strategy adopted by the BJP led dispensation in New Delhi was not bearing the result as was desired during the inception of starting the ‘operation all out’ against militants in Kashmir.
Even as the large number of militants in a decade were killed during gun battles with forces in the year 2018, the static number of 300 active militants present in Kashmir remained as it was in the year 2017.
“The exact number of militant joining the militancy in Kashmir stood at 195 in the year 2018- highest in the decade,” top police sources revealed to The Kashmir Press.
“The recruits who joined militant ranks hail from South, Central and North Kashmir. But, South Kashmir surpassed the other two in terms of large number of youth joining the militant ranks”.
Police sources said that the highest number of locals joining the militancy was registered in the month of June-July.
“Around 30 youth were recruited in the militant outfits in June-July,” they said, adding, “The lowest number was recorded in the month of November. Only three youth joined the militancy”.
Police sources told The Kashmir Press that bulk of new recruits joined various militant outfits including Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).
“It was not easy for the militants to recruit such a large number of youth and provide weapons and resources to them. We believe this was the very fact that they took only 195 even as more potential recruits were available. They had only that much capacity,” sources said.
“But the consistent operations and killing large number of militants also created a sort of effective deterrence”.
While going through the data of youth joining militancy, there has been a steady increase in the number of youth taking up arms in the Valley from 2014 onward as compared to 2011, 2012, and 2013.
In 2010, 54 youths joined militancy while in 2011, the number came down to 23 and further dipped to 21 in 2012 and 16 in 2013.
In 2014, the number shot up to 53 and in 2015, it reached 66 before touching the mark of 88 in 2016, the data showed.
“133 youth joined militancy in the year 2017,” police sources said.
In the year 2018, the BJP government and the army have said that they will start operation ‘all out’ to clear militancy in Kashmir.
As such, when the year ended, 252 militants, 80 troopers (including from police, CRPF, Army), and 86 civilians got killed during various incidents of violence in Kashmir.
The police said it conducted over 90 security operations in the hinterland along with other government forces.
Also, the number of militants was usually around 200 since the year 2006 up to 2016.
The number of militants in Kashmir also steadily rose to 300 after June 2016- the year Hizb commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter in South Kashmir.
“The number of active militants still hovers around 300 in Kashmir,” sources said.