Jammu, Jun 26: Nearly sixty are foreign among the 243 militants operating in Kashmir valley where “Operation All Out” is in full swing in the valley.
In less than six months, 75 young men including some highly educated have joined militancy in Kashmir valley, thereby raising concerns due to an unusual surge in such persons taking up guns.
Police and security forces are to intensify their “outreach programme” to persuade local militants through their families to lay down weapons and “join the mainstream”.
“As many as 243 militants are operating in Kashmir valley and of these, 59 militants are foreigners”, a senior Police officer told PTI quoting official statistics.
Besides, 15 militants are operating in Jammu region, it said, adding a total of 188 locals and 70 foreign terrorists are operating in the entire Jammu and Kashmir.
Operations against militants in J&K would be intensified in the days to come as extremist activities increased during Ramzan when counter-militancy operations were stopped, state police chief S P Vaid said last Tuesday.
“Operations will continue. Only thing was in between, during this (ceasefire) period, the operations were stopped. They were going on earlier also, but we will intensify these operations in the days to come. And it would be, I think, much easier to work,” he said here when asked if Governor’s rule would make any difference to the security apparatus of the state in counter-militancy operations.
Vaid said the militant activities increased during the period of Ramzan ceasefire.
“As many as 75 Kashmiri youths joined militancy in the valley in over 5 month period this year,” the senior security officer said.
The officer said a high number of 127 young men joined militancy in 2017, a record since 2010.
The officer claimed 88 Kashmiri youths joined militancy in 2016.
Since 2014, there has been a constant rise in the number of people joining militancy. As many as 66 youths joined militancy in Kashmir in 2015 and 53 in 2014, according to data compiled by security agencies.
In 2010, 54 youths joined militancy and in 2011, the number came down to 23. It further dipped to 21 in 2012 and 16 in 2013, it said.
There is a trend of highly educated men joining militancy in Kashmir now.
In January this year, Mannan Bashir Wani, who was pursuing PhD in earth science-Geology from Aligarh Muslim University marked his presence in the roll calls for the last time before heading home to Tekipora village in Lolab of Kupwara district in north Kashmir.
Three days after his departure on January 2, a young man with fair complexion and with a black beard holding AK-47 in his hands went viral on social networking websites in Kashmir.
The young man was 25-year-old Manan who had joined the ranks of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.
The youth joining militancy has gone up after the killing of 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8, 2016.
Muhammad Rafi Bhat, a young assistant professor of Kashmir University, killed during encounter within two days of having joined militant ranks, has yet again brought focus on the new-age militancy in the restive region.
Rafi was among five militants, including wanted Hizbul Mujahideen commander Saddam Padder, killed by government forces in Shopian district on May 6.
Five civilians were also killed in clashes in the area.
Others includes the 26 year old Junaid Ashraf Sehrai, an MBA degree holder from Kashmir university, and son of Mohammed Ashraf Sehrai, who took over as chairman of Tehrek-e-Hurriyat from Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Teherik-e-Hurriyat is a pro-Pakistan amalgam of separatists groups.
In November 2017, Majid Khan, a footballer who had passed his 12th with distinction took up arms only to return back home after an appeal by his parents.
Others include Omar Ahsan, 22, who was a post-graduate student in Physics and Lashkar-e-Toiba militants Muzamil Amin and Hilal Ahmad Rather, both of whom were qualified in Islamic teachings.
In February 2015, Ashiq Hussain Dar, who was killed in an encounter in Heff Shermal, had MA (English) and BEd degrees to his credit besides a government job.
According to officials, every funeral of a local militant spawns at least two additions to the ranks of militant groups.
As per a report of Criminal Investigation department (CID), an Intelligence wing of J&K Police, 32 per cent of youths who joined militancy had passed Class X and 19 per cent were undergraduates or graduates.
While post-graduates constitute 7 per cent, the remaining 7 per cent who joined militancy were without any education.
Over 65 per cent showed religious inclination before joining militancy while 10 per cent were academically inclined.
While 3 per cent were drug addicts and the rest 22 per cent were vagabonds, the report submitted by CID to MHA, said.
Asserting social media had an impact on them, the CID report said 25 per cent of youths had access to social media in 2010 and 2011 respectively which rose to 30 per cent by 2014 and and 70 per cent in 2015.
The report says that opting for guns “is a youth phenomena” and youngsters “join militancy because of thrill seeker attitude”.
Address reason forcing youth to take up arms: Mirwaiz to Guv
Srinagar, Jan 18: On J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik’s statement that the government does not want to ‘kill militants but militancy’, Hurriyat (M) Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Friday said if that was the case the Governor should address the cause that forces the young boys to take up the arms.
“If it is so and they (Governor’s administration) are sincere then the government should address the cause that is leading these educated and young boys to take to arms,” Mirwaiz said while addressing the Friday Congregation at Jama Masjid here.
Calling for a political process to resolve the issue, Mirwaiz said: “…start a political process in earnest to address the sentiment behind it and resolve the dispute. It will not only save the lives of our youth but soldiers also, end militarization and the resultant atrocities that governor sahab wants Joint Hurriyat leadership to convey to him, and end the uncertainty and hostility that the region is hostage to for past 71 years.”
Mirwaiz also reacted to the army’s statement terming 2018 as ‘remarkable year’ because of militant killings calling the same “extremely unfortunate and inhuman.”
Mirwaiz called it strange that a well-trained armed force meant to fight another well trained armed force was “celebrating and patting its back on killing young men and boys, some as young as 14, while some budding intellectuals and academics, and calling it remarkable.”
“…army’s boasting of the killings of militants, who are not some hard core armed guerillas and terror mongers, but sentiment driven youth forced to take to arms as a consequence of severe repression due to forcible control,” said the Mirwaiz, according to a statement.
“It is simply the intensity of their passion that drives these young boys, who are poorly trained and starved of ammunition to be able to give a real fight, in this greatly unequal battle to an armed force of a country,” Mirwaiz said.
He said the pain and loss that all of Kashmir feels at the killings of militants only adds to people’s resolve and pushes more young to join in.
“Instead of admitting this, the armed force of a country that prides itself in the history of its freedom struggle by honoring the likes of Subhash Chander Bose who raised Indian National Army to fight the British colonial rule , sells the killing of these armed youth as a great achievement to people of India,” he said.
The chief cleric said many in Indian army have in their write ups and lectures admitted that Jammu and Kashmir is a political problem that has to be resolved as such.
“Those who are using militarization to prolong the status quo should understand that it comes with a cost and keeps increasing complexities,” said the Mirwaiz, adding that the whole world has said that there can be no military solution to the dispute.
Drug Abuse in Kashmir: Over 300 cases registered, 482 peddlers arrested in 2018
Srinagar, Jan 18: Kashmir has emerged as one of the major consumers of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances with police registering over 300 cases against drug peddlers in the region during 2018.
As per the official figures of the police department, at least 312 cases were registered against the drug peddlers in the valley during the year.
Police arrested 482 persons involved in these cases. In 221 cases, the charge sheets have been filed while 91 are still being investigated.
Of the cases, 123 have been registered in south Kashmir followed by 108 in north and 81 in Central parts of the valley.
Police have also seized a huge quantity of contraband substances including poppy straw, fukki, brown sugar, charas, heroin, ganja, bhung putri, and opium straw from various parts of Kashmir.
As per official data, the drugs seized include poppy straw (1734.7 kg), fukki (850.61 kg), brown sugar (6.88 kg) and charas (73.27 kg), apart from other seizures of opioids.
Another disturbing trend has been the increased use of narcotic drugs including heroin, sedatives and painkillers.
“Use of these substances increases the intensity of addiction and hastens the process of complete subjugation to the narcotic dependence,” a police official said, adding that heroin is often considered as a “status symbol” among the drug addicts.
Last year, the report by Narcotics Control Bureau of Union Ministry of Home Affairs’ said J&K was among the top states in India in the cultivation of illicit crops.
The former chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti too had directed police to use Public Safety Act (PSA)–a law under which a person can be detained without trial for up to two years–against those involved in the cultivation and smuggling of drugs.
RKFC vs Shillong Lajong FC: Snow Leopards aim repeating history
Shillong (Meghalaya), Jan 18: Real Kashmir FC head coach David Robertson Friday said the team’s five- day stay in Shillong has helped his players to prepare themselves “mentally as well as physically” for a “bigger” game against Shillong Lajong FC.
Before resuming their home leg, RKFC will Saturday face Shillong Lajong FC, which currently is rooted to the bottom with just four points from 12 games.
Last month, RKFC played dominating football against Shillong defeating it 6:1 at Srinagar’s Astro-Turf ground.
Coach Robertson, in a pre-match conference on Friday, said his players understood the technicalities of the venue, Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, which is very similar to the visitor’s home turf.
“The Shillong playground is similar to that of Astro-Turf, which too has a synthetic turf. Currently, there is good spirit within the team and players are ready for the match,” he said.
Coach Robertson said his team is confident enough for the upcoming match as all eight foreigner players are declared fit for the game.
“We are enjoying the season as we haven’t faced any defeat since March 2017 in away games. So, in tomorrow’s match, we are expecting some good results to get three points before our home matches resume,” he said.
The RKFC head coach said the pressure will be more on the host team but quickly added that Shillong Lajong’s ability to bounce back can’t be underestimated.
“It will be premature to predict about the upcoming game. There are chances that the game can be difficult for us but we have to continue our momentum to get good results tomorrow,” he said.
“There is great enthusiasm in my team and every game, irrespective of the team’s rank, is challenging for us,” Robertson added.
Shillong Lajong FC so far scored almost at a rate of a goal every match but has conceded at a rate of three goals a game, highlighting a rickety defensive line.
RKFC, on the other hand, is on an unbeaten run of eight games that has helped them accumulate 22 points after 12 rounds.
Shillong Lajong FC coach Alison Kharsyngtiew said the physical stature of RKFC players can give a tough competition to any team.
“Considering the physicality of the RKFC team, the game can be tough. But we are ready to give our best,” he said.
Asked about the reasons behind featuring at the bottom, he said his players are very young.
“This is the future of our national team and entire north-east. We have to guide them and encourage them to do better in future,” he said.
He said two of his players including defender Rakesh Pradhan and midfielder Hardy Nongbri are injured and won’t play the upcoming match.