Srinagar: The security establishment is intensifying its efforts to prevent new recruitment in militant ranks, especially in south Kashmir, police officials told Kashmir Reader.
Director General of Police (DGP) Shesh Paul Vaid said that the police department is organising civic programmes, sports and games to engage with youth and to inspire in them a sense of trust in the police.
“The state sports council is also working to engage youth in sports and different games. They have created certain jobs for the post of coaches for local youth,” Vaid said.
Earlier last year, according to official figures, as many as 100 local youth joined militant outfits, 59 of them after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.
The police are also urging youth to join coaching classes for competitive examinations like the entrance exams for civil services.
Vaid said that the police have been successful in bringing back 10-12 local youth who had joined militant ranks. “Success is hard to come by but we have been doing our part by talking to family members, friends and peer group of the youths,” Vaid said.
Since the beginning of this year, 11 militants have been killed in south Kashmir: four in Kulgam, three in Awura, three in Pulwama and two in Tral. As many as 28 militants have been killed across Kashmir this year.
“We are focused on dissuading youth from being part of any fresh recruitment for the militant ranks,” DIG South Kashmir SP Pani told Kashmir Reader.
Pani said that his men apprehended two militants and also busted two over-ground networks in south Kashmir as part of intensified counter-insurgency measures, also aimed at stopping new recruitment in militant outfits.
Pani pointed out that militancy-related incidents in Kashmir have not gone up except in south Kashmir, where the security establishment is making all-out efforts to intercept militants and discourage youth from joining militant ranks.
Another security official, who wished to not be named, said that the security network faces challenges in south Kashmir areas like Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian where there is growing support for militancy among the local population.
One of the major challenges for the security establishment remains the disruption of counter-insurgency operations by locals in south Kashmir.