New Delhi, August 21: Too many locals are still joining the ranks of militants despite the growing number of encounters, becoming a huge concern for security forces operating in Kashmir, home ministry officials have told NDTV.
A report by NDTV states that Centre’s move to bring development and healing touch to Jammu and Kashmir after bifurcating it into two Union Territories, has not improved the security situation in the Kashmr Valley.
“A fact sheet from the ministry shows that in the first seven months of this year, 90 locals have joined various terror groups. Of them, 45 joined Hizbul Mujahideen, 20 Lashkar-e-Taiba, 14 Jaish-e Mohammad, seven Al Badr, two Ansar Ghazwat ul Hind and one joined ISJK, a terror group inspired by the Islamic State,” the report stated,
NDTV reported that what is causing further concern is that the numbers might be more than expected.
Earlier, security forces were informed by the family or neighbours or even social media posts if a young man went missing and joined the militants.
“But now no posts are also going online nor are families coming forward,” said a senior officer in charge of operations,” the report stated..
The report said the identification of the militants who are dying in encounter shows most of them are locals.
In fact, more than 90 per cent of terrorists killed in encounters are Kashmiri locals, officials told the NDTV.
“Of the 136 terrorists killed in Valley in the first seven months of this year, 121 were locals and only 15 were foreigners. In 2019, of the 152 terrorists killed, 119 were locals,” said a senior officer in North Block.
“Anger is palpable in Kashmir Valley. That’s why no matter how many terrorists are killed, their number doesn’t come down,” he added.
According to the report, in South Kashmir’s Kulgam, 24 militants have been killed but 23 local young men have joined the militants.
In Shopian, a young man who joined the militants on August 10 was killed in encounter on August 19, the official said.
“Of the 90 locals who were recruited by various terror outfits between June and August, we have managed to eliminate 38 and arrest 15. So in real terms, only 37 are still operating,” said Vijay Kumar, the Inspector General of Kashmir, according to the NDTV report.