SRINAGAR: Following the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani in 2016, there has been an abrupt increase in youth joining militant ranks in Kashmir.
According to a report of a national daily, 216 local youth joined militancy in Kashmir since July 8, 2016, when Wani was killed along with two of his accomplices in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Kokernag area.
At the same time, 121 militants have been killed since June 8, the report says. These figures it says are based on a report of security agencies.
Almost half the recruitments into militant ranks in the Valley after the killing of Wani came from within 10 km of the residences of killed militants or encounter sites and these recruitments took place within 40 days of the encounters, it says.
Since 2010 unrest, over 467 local youth from 354 villages across Kashmir and the Chenab valley have become militants. Among them, 335 have come from 247 villages in south Kashmir.
In 2018, 26 militants were killed while 46 fresh recruits were reported. Four were killed in January against 15 recruitments. None killed in February but five joined militant ranks and seven were killed in March against ten new recruits. In April, 18 militants were killed and 16 local youth joined militancy.
The report divides Kashmir into 29 clusters, and finds that while the epicentre of the new militancy lies in south Kashmir, local youth have been recruited in almost every district in the Valley, besides Doda, Kishtwar, Reasi and Ramban in the Chenab valley of Jammu province.
Shopian district in south Kashmir tops the list, with 95 local youth from 70 villages having joined militancy since 2010. The largest number of local militants have come from Heff Zainpora, seven of whose youths have taken up arms since 2010. Pahlipora Keller, Zainpora, and Padderpora villages have produced four local militants each. Three other villages in the district have produced three militants each, while two militants each have come from four villages, the report says.
In Pulwama district, 88 local militants have come from 60 villages in the last eight years. Six youths each belong to the district’s Kakpora and Lelhar villages. Two villages have five militants each, Gundbagh village has three, and five villages have two local militants each.
The security report has analysed 43 encounters since November 5, 2016, until April 26 this year, in which 77 militants were killed while 104 were recruited and this recruitment was directly linked to the killing of militants in their area or a killed militant belonged to their area.
Amit Shah calls for urgent meeting of Jammu and Kashmir BJP ministers in Delhi today
BJP president Amit Shah has called for an urgent meeting of all Jammu and Kashmir BJP ministers and some top leaders in New Delhi on Tuesday. “All the BJP ministers have been called to New Delhi for a meeting,” a senior BJP leader of Jammu and Kashmir BJP told PTI.
Shah has called the meeting to discuss the political situation in the state — including the impact of suspension of operations during Ramzan and its resumption. The report further added that Shah might also discuss the future strategy with ally PDP and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
BJP ministers in the Mehbooba Mufti government, including state unit president Ravindra Raina, party vice-president and incharge of Jammu and Kashmir Avinash Rai Khanna, and state unit office bearers, will participate in the meeting at the party headquarters, The Economic Times report said. Party General secretary (Organisation) Asho Kaul has also been called for the meeting.
However, other reports claimed that suspending operations along the border area has miffed the PDP leadership and the rift is showing once again as the Centre wants to resume anti-terror operations in the state after Ramzan. While PDP thinks BJP leaders should make headway with the separatists and initiate dialogue with them, the BJP-led central government says that the separatists lost an opportunity as they did not take a cue from civil society, sources have told NDTV.
The Centre decided to suspend anti-terror operations during the holy month “in view of providing respite to the people”, however, NDTV reported that data showed the terror activities had more than doubled in this period.
As terrorist activities continued even after the announcement of a month-long suspension of anti-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre on Sunday decided not to extend its unilateral initiative, declared on 16 May to coincide with the holy month, evoking dismay among people in the state.
“All political issues related to the state are on the agenda. The meeting will not only discuss the 2019 Lok Sabha preparation but also the recent suspension of operations and its impact, relations with allies and other issues,” a senior BJP leader was quoted as saying.
The home ministry announcement, a day after Eid festivities, said that operations against the militants will resume. “The Government of India decides not to extend the suspension of operations in Jammu and Kashmir announced in the beginning of Ramzan,” a ministry statement said.
Apart from all this, the BJP president will also meet to ensure that the forthcoming Amarnath Yatra, which begins on 28 June, passes off smoothly without any violence.
Journalist Shujaat Bukhari murdered in gruesome attack at Press Enclave; 2 PSOs also killed
Srinagar, Jun 14: Dr Syed Shujaat Bukhari, a prominent senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of Daily Rising Kashmir, was killed on Thursday evening in a gruesome attack by unidentified gunmen outside his office at the Press Enclave here.
Forty minutes to the penultimate Iftar of 2018 Ramadan, sounds of, at least, ten gunshots reverberated in the media hub.
The journalists rushed out of their offices only to find Shujaat, his Personal Security Official (PSO), and his driver lying in a pool of blood in his bullet-ridden SUV just outside Shujaat’s office.
Eyewitnesses said at least two persons armed with AK47 rifles fired indiscriminately at the vehicle, critically wounding the three men.
Shujaat, who was sitting in the middle seat, received multiple bullets, and his PSO, in the front, had been shot in his face.
The driver, also a policeman, also was critically injured.
The attackers appeared to have emptied their magazines over the victims before escaping.
For the next about 10 minutes, the vehicle remained stranded, as no one could muster courage to go near the victims.
Shujaat’s was lying face down on the seat, blood all around him. A young journalist touched his body, but couldn’t detect the pulse.
The jaw of the dead PSO sitting next to the driver was literally dangling. He had exit wounds on his neck. He died at the spot.
The driver, however, was still breathing, whispering something. His eyes were about to shut.
A hoax cry about the attackers still being there sent everyone running away from the vehicle, until they rushed back a few seconds later.
Chaos and fear was visible on the scribes’ faces, while a few photojournalists clicked pictures of the scene.
No one, however, was willing to drive out the dying driver or the other two to the hospital.
They were eventually carried into the police vehicle that arrived at the scene.
Rushing in, the police fired a bullet in the air to disperse the crowd, and a cop subsequently drove the damaged SUV to the hospital where Shujaat was declared brought dead.
The driver too succumbed soon after.
Shujaat’s body was handed over to his family at Kreeri, Baramulla, for the last rites.
A police spokesperson later issued the following statement: “It is learnt that some militants this evening fired upon senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of the daily Rising Kashmir Shujaat Bukhari at Press Enclave Lal Chowk. While Shujaat Bukhari was traveling in a car near Press enclave he was fired upon indiscriminately which resulted in the instant death of Bukhari and a PSO who was with him. The other injured PSO who was shifted to the hospital in critical condition has succumbed to his injury.”
The spokesperson said that “preliminary investigations indicate it was a militant attack”.
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