Srinagar, Feb 7: The Jammu and Kashmir government has made a stark revelation that 280 youth have joined militant ranks in Kashmir during the past three years.
Security analysts believe that youth joining militant ranks is a worrying trend and it’s a grim reminder of nineties when youth in large numbers crossed over to Pakistan administered Kashmir for the arms training. “During nineties youth joined militant ranks in a haphazard manner. Now the trend has changed. Youth who are taking refuge in arms know it very well what they are doing,” said an analyst.
He said, “In nineties there was no social media and internet. And communication was a difficult task. Now the situation is different as internet has turned the world into a global village.”
A Kashmir watcher said, “The resurgence of militancy in Kashmir has emerged as a big headache for the security agencies. The state government has also announced special package for the youth who lay down the arms and return to the mainstream. A few youth have laid down the arms and returned home but many have not.”
He said that government has also doubled the incentive for the government forces for catching a militant alive. “Top police officials have reiterated that militants who give up arms won’t be asked any questions and they won’t be used as sources to extract information about the active militants,” he added.
A politician said that nearly 300 youth joining the militant ranks in three years indicates that since the day present dispensation has taken over the reins of the state militants and militancy related incidents are increasing. “This trend needs to be reversed as it can have far reaching consequences. The government should ascertain the reason behind the growing alienation among the youth and why they are picking up the arms.”
A top police official said, “The fact is that many militants have laid down their arms but we are not disclosing their details due to security reasons. We don’t want the youth who give up arms to become soft targets. Those who have laid down the arms are pursuing their careers in different fields.”
A National Conference leader said, “When our party was in power we ensured that young boys stay away from the arms. The militancy has increased since the day PDP-BJP government came into power. Everyone is aware about the ground situation and allow of us know it very well that it’s grim. PDP claims that it supports the dialogue process with all stakeholders. But these are just hoax claims. The fact is that dialogue is not visible anywhere on the ground.”