‘First time in decade, number of listed militants crossed 300’
People run as suspected militants offer a gun salute to Fayaz Ahmad, a suspected militant, who according to local media was killed in a retaliatory firing by police in a brief gun battle on Saturday evening in Kulgam district of Kashmir, during his funeral in Qaimoh, May 7, 2017. REUTERS/Danish Ismail
Srinagar, Sep 3:The number of listed militants in Kashmir has, for the first time, crossed 300 in nearly past ten years, a media report revealed on Monday.
According to report published by The Tribune, the number of militants stayed close to 200 during past ten years, except in 2013 when it plunged to 78–lowest since militancy erupted in the state in 1990.
It quoted a senior police officer and said that there has been a significant increase in the number of militants.
“The main reason for the high number of militants has been local recruitment since 2017. Last year 126 Valley youths picked up guns- which was the highest number since 2010 and this year over 130 have been inducted into militancy,” the report said while quoting the senior officer.
It mentioned a report compiled by the J&K Police in early August and said that 327 militants are active of which 211 are locals and 116 are foreigners.
“Two militant groups Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba continue to remain dominant. While the Lashkar has the highest cadre with nearly 141 militants, Hizb has over 128 listed militants. The Jaish-e-Mohammed has also strengthened its base in Kashmir this year,” the report stated.
Among the militants listed, 181 are active in the volatile south Kashmir districts, which have been on the edge ever since the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani in July 2016.
“Crossing the 300 number is nothing compared to the thousands that joined militancy in the early 1990s,” said a police official, saying that “it is a very serious matter”.
Along with his two associates, Burhan Wani was killed in Bamdoora area of Kokernag on July 8, 2016. His killing brought the entire Kashmir to a standstill.