Srinagar: Militancy in Jammu and Kashmir is on the cusp of a transition as it has lost the ”glamour” that was once associated with it, Army commander Lt Gen D P Pandey has said, adding ”white collar terrorists” are now desperately trying to lure into their ranks adolescents who may not yet have the maturity to judge right from wrong.
Lt Gen Pandey, the General Officer Commanding (GoC) of Kashmir-based XV Corps, said those aged between 20 and 25 have understood that ”violence leads to nowhere” and thus the number of new terror recruits is touching a new low. In addition, 330 militants were killed or surrendered since January last year, he said.
People in general are fed up with violence, the Army commander said and expressed hope that the day is not far when the remaining support to militants in Kashmir Valley will vanish as well.
He said the society has started developing some allergy towards the idea of militancy and it is no longer glamorous to become a militant.
”Militancy is on the cusp of a transition and the day is not far when the remaining support for militancy in the Valley will also vanish,” he said.
”Security forces have been working on a two-pronged strategy — bringing down the recruitment of local youths and ensuring depletion in militant cadres. We have been able to bring down the local recruitment by one-third during 2021,” Lt Gen Pandey said.
Sharing data of counter-militancy operations, he said 330 militants have been killed or surrendered since January last year — the highest in a decade-and-a-half.
These are significant numbers when seen in the backdrop of falling recruitment and infiltration from across the border in the last four years. Only 142 people joined the militant ranks in 2021.
”As many as 171 militants— 151 locals and 20 Pakistanis — were killed in 2021, while 45 militants, including 10 Pakistani militants, were eliminated till now this year. As many as 87 militants were apprehended or surrendered in 2021 and 27 militants this year,” he said.