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Terror recruitment in Kashmir this year lower than 2017, steep fall after August clampdown

According to defence agencies, 110 Kashmiri youths have joined the terror ranks in 2019, with 36 from Pulwama district alone.

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New Delhi: Terror recruitment in Kashmir has declined this year compared to the last two, with a steep fall registered since the central government imposed a clampdown when it scrapped Article 370 on 5 August.

Figures tabulated by defence agencies show that 110 youths, mostly from south Kashmir, have joined the terror ranks in 2019, including 36 from just one district — Pulwama.

While 128 local youngsters joined the terror ranks in 2017, the figure had shot up to 209 in 2018.

Graphic by Soham Sen | ThePrint

However, since the clampdown was imposed, two youths have joined in August, eight in September and six in October, according to the defence agencies.

Of the figure of 110, as many as 46 youngsters joined the Hizbul Mujahideen and 34 joined the Jaish-e-Mohammed, while 22 enlisted themselves with the Lashkar-e-Taiba. The Islamic State of Jammu and Kashmir saw three local recruitments this year.

“The local recruitment has actually come down. After the Burhan Wani encounter in 2016, there was a gradual increase in local terror recruitment, but this is coming down,” a senior security officer told ThePrint.

Graphic by Soham Sen | ThePrint

Also read: 20 Kashmiri youth ‘missing’ since Article 370 move, role of terror headhunters feared

Ceasefire violations by Pakistan could increase

The agencies have prepared a forward outlook plan, according to which Pakistan is expected to intensify ceasefire violations on the Line of Control to push in more terrorists.

In October 2019, Pakistan violated the ceasefire 251 times, compared to 178 in the same month in 2018 and 122 the year before.

The plan also said terrorists will continue to target migrant labour in the Valley to create hysteria, enforce closures, and prevent a return to normalcy.

Protests planned for mobile internet restoration

A confidential report, accessed by ThePrint, said separatists are likely to foment agitations for resumption of mobile data services, with a view to provoke soldiers into a retaliatory action.

“This would lead to casualties of civilians, thereby whipping up emotions to attain a self-propagating cycle of violence,” the report read.

Also read: Lone local militant is all that’s left of Islamic State-inspired terror module in J&K


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