Indian security agencies met with new dilemma in occupied Kashmir

Indian security agencies met with new dilemma in occupied Kashmir

SRINAGAR - Indian security agencies have warned of a rise in recruitment of local youths into militant groups, that has crossed 80.

The security agency officials said the highly-volatile Shopian and Pulwama districts in South Kashmir continued to contribute more youths to the militant groups.As many as 20 more youths have joined the militant groups in the month of May which included Rouf from Ganderbal, a fourth-semester student pursuing a diploma course in government polytechnic, the officials said.

A Unani doctor, the brother of IPS officer Inamulhaq Mengnoo, has also been reported missing from Shopian and it is apprehended that he too may have joined militant groups, they said, adding that the figure at the end of April this year was 45.

The officials said another 16 were missing mainly from the twin districts and a probe was on to ascertain whether they have joined any terror group.

The officials said infiltration was also picking up and some of the terrorists had managed to sneak in from Poonch and Rajouri district of Jammu region as well as from the LoC in the Kashmir Valley. This created a more alarming situation for the security forces which were readying themselves for the two-month-long Amarnath Yatra beginning this month-end.

Year 2018, according to the officials, may end up as the worst year in terms of number of youths joining various militant groups as the figures indicated that 81 youths had joined until May this year. In 2017, a total of 126 youths had picked up guns. It was the highest number since 2010, according to a recent data presented in the state assembly and Parliament.

There has been a steady rise in the number of youth taking up arms in the Valley since 2014 onwards as compared to 2010-2013 when figures stood at 54, 23, 21 and 6 in the respective years. In 2014, the number shot up to 53 and in 2015, it reached 66 before touching the highest mark of 88 in 2016, the data showed.

This year's recruitment of youth joining militancy includes Junaid Ashraf Sehrai, 26, an MBA degree holder from Kashmir University, and son of Mohammed Ashraf Sehrai, who took over as chairman of Tehrek-e-Hurriyat from Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Teherik-e-Hurriyat is a pro-Pakistan amalgam of separatists groups.

The list also includes a 26-year-old PhD scholar Mannan Bashir Wani hailing from Kupwara, officials said. Wani was studying in the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

According to a report prepared by the Jammu and Kashmir CID, which has been shared with the Union Home Ministry, the past three years have witnessed a consistent rise in the number of active local militants even in the face of successful anti-militancy operations undertaken by the security forces.

"It, therefore, becomes imperative for the state to deconstruct why, while militants are being killed, militancy continues to rise," the report had said.