Recruitment into militancy declining in Kashmir: Army

After the completion of municipal polls in the state last month there has been an increase in the offensive and pinpoint operations against militants across the Kashmir valley. (DH File Photo)

The Indian Army on Saturday said that recruitment of local youth into militancy has seen a decline in Kashmir during the past two months.
 
“The recruitment of local youth in militant outfits has been persistent during past couple of years. However, we have seen a drop in it (recruitment) in the past two months,” General-officer-Commanding (GoC) of Srinagar-based 15 Corps, Lt Gen A K Bhatt, said.
 
“We believe that the youth of Kashmir will follow the right path and there will be even lesser recruitment,” he said while talking to reporters in a wreath-laying ceremony held for Major Somnath Sharma in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. Major Sharma was killed in Budgam on this day in the year 1947 at the Srinagar Airport while repulsing an attack from Pakistani tribal militia.
 
The army commander termed the overall situation in Kashmir ‘a little fragile but all right.’ “Overall situation is under control. We are neutralizing terrorists, which is our main aim,” he said.
 
General Bhatt’s assertion came just ten-days after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his day-long visit to Kashmir said that stone pelting incidents and local recruitment into militancy have come down in recent months.
 
“As far as the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, there had been a major shift in the last four months. There has been a decrease in the number of stone pelting incidents. Also, I have got information that there has been a fall in the number of militant recruitment in the state,” Rajnath Singh had said.
 
After the completion of municipal polls in the state last month there has been an increase in the offensive and pinpoint operations against militants across the Kashmir valley. October marked a sharp spike in the counter-insurgency operations, for the first time since Ramazan ceasefire in May-June this year. Security forces traced militants to their hideouts and intercepted them at checkpoints almost on a daily basis and sometimes even in multiple gunfights in a day.

This year over 190 militants have been killed while the police put the number of active militants in the range of 280 to 300.

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