Kashmir, Youth, Militancy

Over 300 Kashmiri youths joined militancy in the past seven years with 2016 topping in such recruitment but the participation of youngsters in violence has “ceased” this year, government said on Tuesday.

While the number of youth joining militancy was on the decrease from 2010 to 2013, it picked up from 2014.

Eighty-eight youths joined the militants last year, mainly after the encounter killing of Hizbul Mujahideen operative Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016.

In 2010, the number of youth who were recruited was 54 and it decreased to 23 the next year. It further declined to 21 and 16 in 2012 and 2013 respectively. However, 2014 witnessed sharp increase to 53 while the next year saw 66 youths joining militancy.

Kashmir-Protest

During these years, the infiltration attempts showed a decline from 2010 to 2015 but last year saw a rise though the figure did not surpass the 2010 number. In 2010, there were 489 attempts while last year saw 371. In between the numbers were declining year after year.

A large number of infiltration attempts were thwarted. However, the net infiltration numbers rose from 95 in 2010 to 119 in 2016.

Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir informed Lok Sabha in a written reply that Jammu and Kashmir police has taken a number of initiatives for promoting youth engagement, which include organising sports tournaments and cultural events among others to woo youngsters away from militancy.

Kashmir has been “affected by terrorist violence that is sponsored and supported from across the border. The levels of terrorist violence in the hinterland are linked to the infiltration from across the border. The activities of separatist and militant outfits also remain a challenge in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

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No of Incidents
July 2016 – 820
Aug 2016 – 747
Sep 2016 – 535
Oct 2016 – 179
Nov 2016 – 73
Dec 2016 – 36
Jan 2017 – 05
Feb 2017 – 49
Mar 2017 – 27.

No of Youths who joined militancy
2010 – 54
2011 – 23
2012 – 21
2013 – 16
2014 – 53
2015 – 66
2016 – 88

Source: Ministry of Home Affairs

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In reply to another question, he said, the situation in Kashmir in the current year has “improved to a large extent” and the “participation of youth in violence has ceased” and normal activities are going on smoothly.

While there were 820 “law and order situations” in July last year, the month in which Wani was killed, the number decreased to 49 last month and 27 this month. Barring some violence-prone pockets, the situation is presently normal. Efforts are afoot to bring situation under control in these vulnerable pockets,” he said.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Mar 22, 2017)

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