*SRINAGAR, APR 27 - Youth *recruitment continue in valley despite encounters, appeals by security officials and parents to shun militancy.
A picture of youth is making rounds on social media from last couple of hours. In the picture, Shakeel Ahmad Dar is seen holding an AK-47 rifle in left hand, Quran in right hand and wearing a rig over his chest. The picture is believed to be released by outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahideen announcing that one more local has joined them.
The details mentioned on the picture further say that Shakeel is a resident of Turkoo area of Shopian district in south Kashmir and has joined the ranks of fighters on April 21, 2019.
Fighters have code named the youth as Abu Wasif. Security forces are verifying the facts regarding this matter. Earlier this day, an engineering student of Anantnag also posed with an AK-47.
The trend of sharing pictures on social media after joining ranks began to become common in Kashmir after Burhan Wani ( slain top Hizb commander ) shared some of his pictures on social media in year 2014-15. More than 500 youth have been killed in gunfights with security forces during last few years. Despite this, militant recruitment is seeing no sign of declination.
Kashmir valley has witnessed rise in militant recruitment since the killing of popular militant commander Burhan Wani in 2016. While security agencies have been continuously requesting the youth to give up arms and come to mainstream, the recruitment are on.
On Wednesday, top police and army officials claimed that recruitment of local boys has gone down in past some time however has not completely stopped. Attempts are being continuously made by security forces to stop local youth from joining militancy.
Army chief few months ago made an appeal to parents of militants where he asked them to request sons to join mainstream. He also announced to provide security to the ones who will shun militancy. (PTK)