Ground Report | Srinagar
The local militant recruitment in Jammu and Kashmir has shown a significant dip as only 35 youth have joined various militant ranks this year so far, official figures reveal.
Officials said, that the multi-pronged strategy adopted by the security grid of J&K has finally paid off the dividends while as parents too have played a pivotal role in preventing their children from treading the “wrong path.”
“Mothers have especially been very supportive and today we have very less local militant recruitment this year so far. We are hopeful that figure doesn’t go up more,” a security expert said, wishing not to be quoted by name. The official figures, however, state that only 35 local boys have joined militant ranks in Kashmir since January this year upto May 3.
“In 2018, 219 local boys had picked up arms and in 2019, 119 boys joined militancy,” figures available with the KNO reveal. After the killing of young militant commander of Hizb Burhan Wani in July 2016, the local militancy graph showed an increasing trend pushing the J&K’s security grid to go into a huddle.
“A multi-pronged strategy was worked which gradually showed results. In 2017, winter months showed a spurt in militant recruitment as 267 youth joined militancy in the year. The figure, however, went down in 2018 and in 2019 it got down to 119 only,” the official said.
He said that a series of steps were identified for luring the young boys towards militancy. “We got in touch with many families whose children had tread a wrong path. Regular counselling and support from the parents resulted in a success. Many youth returned to their families silently,” the official said. “Here, mothers played a very important role for which they deserve applauds.”
Security grid said that the killing of top commanders of militant outfits including Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Hizbul Mujahideen and Ansar Gazwatul Hind (AGH) in the past two years also helped bring down the local militant recruitment.
“Commanders were main recruiters who would lure youth towards militancy through various means including social media and other provocative material and speeches,” they said.
Police said that many other reasons were responsible for attracting youth towards militancy which include peer pressure, neighbourhood influence, and also gun salutes at the funerals of slain militants.
“These factors were deliberated upoun and addressed as well at multiple levels,” they said, adding that the upcoming months of summer are crucial and a close watch will be kept on the areas where local militant recruitment would take place earlier. “We are hopeful that graph doesn’t increase,” they said.