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Over 64 percent of youths joining militancy in J-K killed within a year: Officials

SRINAGAR: The youths joining the militant ranks in Jammu and Kashmir have a “short shelf life” with more than 64 per cent of them being killed by security forces within a year, officials said on Sunday.

Security forces, aided by a strong on-ground intelligence network, have scaled up anti-militant operations in the first five months of this year, though frequent violence in south Kashmir remained a cause for concern, they said.

Citing data of militants neutralised between January 1 and May 31 this year, the officials said 64.1 per cent of the new militant recruits were eliminated within a year. Only 26.6 per cent of the militant recruits lasted more than 12 months, while the fate of 9.3 per cent of them was not known, they said.

Giving further details, the officials said 28.1 per cent of the militant recruits were killed within one month, 54.7 per cent within six months and 59.4 per cent within nine months.

The officials said 70 to 75 youths have joined various militant groups in Kashmir Valley in the first five months of this year. The corresponding figure of last year was near equal.

They said south Kashmir continued to be the hotbed of militancy in the valley as the region saw 59 militant killings by security forces in the first five months of this year compared to 31 such killings in central and north Kashmir.

Out of the total 90 militants killed in the valley between January and May, 26 were Pakistani nationals and the number is much more than that of the whole of previous year when 182 militants, including 20 foreigners, were killed in 100 anti-militants operations, the officials said.

The officials said 45 militants were arrested during the period along with huge cache of arms and ammunition, with analysis and intelligence inputs suggesting a large supply of pistols aimed at target killings besides AK assault rifles, improvised explosive devices and sticky bombs.

Six of the 90 militants killed in 47 encounters were eliminated on the Line of Control (LoC) while trying to infiltrate into the valley from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the officials said, adding the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) suffered the major setbacks as 52 of its militants were eliminated and 18 others apprehended since January this year.

The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) was the second on the chart with 20 of its militants being killed and four others arrested, followed by the Hizbul Mujahideen (11 dead and one arrested) and Al-Badr (four dead and three arrested). The identity of three remaining slain militants could not be ascertained, the officials said.

The officials said the four districts of south Kashmir – Pulwama, Anantnag, Kulgam and Shopian – recorded the killing of 59 militants and arrest of 10 others, while summer capital Srinagar witnessed the killing of 11 militants, including four Pakistani terrorists, and arrest of four others.

Pulwama district recorded the highest number of 27 killings of militants, including seven foreigners, followed by Anantnag (12), Kulgam (11) and Shopian (nine). Among the 11 militants killed in Kulgam, five were foreign militants, the officials said.

Seven militants were killed and eight others arrested in central Kashmir’s Budgam district while Ganderbal district, which also falls in central Kashmir, saw the lowest incidents of terror activities with only one militant eliminated in a gunfight, the officials said.

In north Kashmir, which is being used by militants as a gateway to infiltrate into the valley from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the officials said a total of 12 militants, including 10 foreigners, were killed and 23 others arrested.

Of them, six militants, including five foreigners, were killed in the border districts of Kupwara, three foreigners in Baramulla and three others, including two foreigners, in Bandipora. Eighteen militants were also arrested in Baramulla district and five others in Bandipora district, they said.

The officials said a total of 61 militant-initiated incidents were reported from across the valley during the five-month period and half of them were reported from Pulwama and Srinagar districts.

They said a large number of weapons, including AK assault rifles and pistols, were recovered from the slain and arrested militants, indicating that the availability of weapons has increased.

The officials said another alarming trend noticed was the large influx of pistols apparently meant to carry out targeted killings.

Nearly 350 pistols were recovered by the security forces during anti-militant operations since January this year with 92 seized in the month of May, the officials said, adding five IEDs were also recovered in May for the first time this year with intelligence inputs pointing to the use of magnetic bombs, also known as sticks bombs, by militants. (PTI)

Kashmir Scroll Webdesk

Kashmir Scroll is an online news project started by the young journalists of Kashmir.

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