Summer of 2018 good; 'very few' local boys joining militancy, claims J&K police chief

Last Updated 22 March 2018, 16:24 IST

Contrary to ground situation, Jammu and Kashmir Police chief Shesh Pal Vaid on Thursday said that from last year "very few" local boys have joined militancy.

"They (militant handlers) are trying to mislead youth. (But) from the last year, there is a lot of change and hope youth will choose the right path," Vaid told reporters after visiting the family of a slain policeman in Kupwara district of north Kashmir. 
"They (youth) should live their life for themselves and their families," he said.
According to official figures in 2017, more than 120 local boys joined militancy, with the number crossing 100 for the first time since such data started being collated in 2010. The figure stood at 88 in 2016. South Kashmir districts of Shopian, Kulgam, Pulwama and Anantnag emerged the main hubs, which provide cadres to militant groups such as Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashker-e- Taiba, reports of security agencies last year said.
According to the data  tabled in Parliament in March last year, there was a steady increase in the number of youth taking up arms in the Valley from 2014 onwards as compared to 2011, 2012, and 2013. In 2010, 54 youths joined militancy while in 2011, the number came down to 23 and further dipped to 21 in 2012 and 16 in 2013. 
In 2014, the number shot up to 53 and in 2015, it reached 66 before touching 88 in 2016, and more than 120 last year, the data revealed. 

Forces alert

On possibilities of infiltration along Line of Control (LoC) in coming months, the police chief said:  "Our forces are alert and they will not allow situation to deteriorate. This year summer in Kashmir will be good." 
Vaid, who was flanked by IGP Kashmir Swam Prakash Pani and other police officers during his visit to Kachhama, the native place of one of the slain policemen in Wednesday's encounter with militants, said: "One of his (slain cop's) sons is highly qualified and I will try to talk to J&K Bank chairman through Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for his appointment in the Bank".

(Published 22 March 2018, 16:12 IST)

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