The offensive launched by security forces this year against local militants has “flipped their recruitment, which doubled,” especially after the April 1 operation that left 13 locals dead in coordinated operations, according to the fresh data on militancy released by the police.
According to the figures collated by the police from the militancy hub of south Kashmir, comprising four districts, 69 local youths joined militancy since January this year. Of them, 35 joined immediately after the multiple operations were conducted on April 1 in a major offensive against militancy in south Kashmir, the police report says.
“In first 90 days of this year, over 30 locals joined the militant ranks but in just 45 days, since April 1, the figure doubled to 69,” says the report.
The operation in April, which left 13 local militants and four civilians dead, was described as a “ major dent” to the recruitment process as two key handlers of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen were killed in the encounter.
“The operation did dent the Hizb’s capabilities to strike against the security forces but the recruitment was adversely impacted as more and more youth joined it,” says the report.
According to district-wise recruitment figures collected since April 1, Pulwama saw 24 youths joining militancy, followed by Shopian with 10, Kulgam three and one each from Bandipora and Ganderbal.
The fresh recruits included an assistant professor and a postgraduate in mathematics, Tawseef Ahmad Thokar, who went missing this week from Pulwama’s Awantipora area. Thirty-seven recruits have already been killed in operations so far.