Kashmir: Recruitment of locals into militancy declining

Kashmir: Recruitment of locals into militancy declining

Photo for representation only.

The recruitment of locals into militancy in Kashmir in the first six months of this year has come down compared to the same period in 2017 and 2018.

A senior police officer privy to the developments said that from January to June this year, 38 local youth joined militancy which is the lowest ever since 2017.

“In first six months of 2018, the number of local boys who took up arms was 46 while in 2017, the number was over 50 in the same period,” he said.

Majority of the local youth who joined militancy this year hail from southern districts of Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam and Anantnag while only four belong to north Kashmir.

“Given the declining trend till June this year, the recruitment won’t pick up the way it used to be in the past two years. However, we are keeping a close watch as July, August and September are crucial months,” the officer said.

According to the findings available with the police, the “towns and villages in South and North Kashmir that showed the upward trend of local militant recruitment since 2017 have also shown satisfactory results.” 

“The youth in these areas are less inclined towards militancy which is a good sign. Though many youths, who were about to join militancy were brought back by the timely intervention of their families and the police,” the officer added.  

The trend of youth uploading videos of themselves brandishing weapons on social media has also declined.

Not only the local recruitment but infiltration along the Line of Control (LoC) has also decreased drastically resulting in less violence this year. The annual report released by the Crime Branch of the State Police reveals that the year 2018 was more violent on all fronts than 2017.

According to the report, the bomb blasts/grenade attacks also showed a surge in 2018 as 82 such incidents were reported in the year against 20 in 2017. With regard to the civilian causalities, the report stated that less civilian died in 2018 against 2017.  

“In 2018, 68 civilians died while as 116 sustained injuries. In 2017, 78 civilians had died while 172 had sustained injuries at the encounter sites,” the report reads.

However, in the first six months of this year, the civilian casualties have declined drastically. In fact, security force casualties have also decreased this year. Overall situation this year has remained comparatively better than the previous three years.