LeT forced to recruit locally

LeT forced to recruit locally

LeT forced to recruit locally

With the Army’s tight vigil on the Line of Control (LoC) making infiltration difficult, militant outfit Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) is now desperately trying to recruit youth to its ranks, sources told Deccan Herald.

“To give militancy in Kashmir a local touch, LeT wants to recruit more and more local youth to its ranks. For this purpose hefty amount of money is also being pumped from across the border,” sources said, adding that the militant outfit enlisted more than 100 boys of this apple town of north Kashmir in the last one year to carry out attacks.

A senior intelligence official in Sopore said most of the local boys recruited by the LeT were teenagers and highly motivated due to religious indoctrination. “Recently, police arrested a college boy who was working as Over Ground Worker (OGW) for the LeT. A diary was recovered from him where he had written that ‘it would be the most beautiful day of my life when I will achieve martyrdom’,” he said.

The official revealed that it wasn’t an isolated case. “Most of the boys recruited by the LeT are religiously influenced on the path to establishing an Islamic state which can impose Shariah (Islamic law),” he added.

Highlighting the menace, Sopore SP Imtiyaz Hussain said 40 OGWs had been arrested in the town in the last ten months. “While 30 of these were counselled and handed over to their families, after they gave undertaking that they won’t join militant ranks again, 10 involved in heinous crimes are still in jails,” Hussain said.

He said that most of the LeT recruits hadn’t crossed the border for arms training, “nor do they go underground to commit violent acts.” In a majority of the cases, their motivation is the macho image associated with violence or pure indoctrination. In some cases money is also a factor as several of those arrested are from poor families,” the SP added.

Asked how many OGWs were active in the Sopore area, Hussain said it was difficult to ascertain the exact number. “There are at least 15 militants, including one or two foreigners active in my area. The number of OGWs keep on varying. But our reports suggest that LeT is desperate to recruit more local youth into militancy and the number can be somewhere close to 100,” he added.