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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Locals joining militancy in Kashmir worrying: Army

Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, August 09, 2014
First Published: 18:25 IST(9/8/2014) | Last Updated: 13:00 IST(10/8/2014)

Though the infiltration bids from across the border on the Kashmir side is less than Jammu, the army on Saturday said local youth joining the militant ranks is "indeed a disturbing" trend.

"Any youth joining the militancy is disturbing. And if educated youth are joining, it is more disturbing. Yes, it certainly causes concern to us," said Lt General Subrata Saha, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Army's strategic Chinar Corps.

He made this remarks in Srinagar during a ceremony organised by the army to honour Chunni Lal, a decorated soldier conferred with Ashok Chakra, Vir Chakra and Sena Medal for his gallantry work.

The army's statement comes in the background of 16 local youth joining militancy from Kashmir Valley in the first six months this year. Several local militants killed this year turned out to be students of the Valley's universities.

"It (youth joining militancy) certainly encourages us to take initiatives to keep the youth more meaningfully engaged," said Lt General Saha.

While the army is alarmed by the increasing number of youth joining the militancy in the Valley, increasing infiltration bids in the Jammu region, which saw another bid in Poonch on Saturday, remains a challenge.

"Ceasefire violations are definitely a cause of concern. Kashmir is witnessing comparatively less ceasefire violations than the areas falling under 16 Corps (in Jammu) due to very robust counter infiltration grid put in place," said GOC Saha.

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