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Religious indoctrination, poor academics behind youth joining militancy: Kashmir IGP

Inspector general of police Muneer Khan said more youngsters take up militancy in south Kashmir, when compared to the northern parts, because the region has a higher number of local fighters.

india Updated: Nov 16, 2017 14:52 IST
Abhishek Saha
Abhishek Saha
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Inspector general of police (Kashmir range) Muneer Khan,Militancy,Youth
Inspector general of police Muneer Khan displays an AK-47 Draco rifle during a joint press conference with Army and CRPF officers recently. (Waseem Andrabi / HT File)

Poor academic performance, relentless Pakistani social media campaigns and religious indoctrination are the primary reasons behind Kashmiri youth taking up militancy, a senior police officer told mediapersons in Srinagar on Thursday.

Inspector general of police (Kashmir range) Muneer Khan said most youngsters between 15 and 25 years are lured into militant ranks because they cannot differentiate between good and bad. Around 17 boys took up arms against the Indian government over the last four months, he added.

Khan said the authorities are committed to helping local militants who want to surrender. “The government is very keen on an effective surrender policy for local militants, for which they have sought suggestions from us. We are in the process of compiling them. Local militants have to be rehabilitated,” he said.

Khan said more youngsters take up militancy in south Kashmir, when compared to the northern parts, because the region has a higher number of local fighters. “Local militants tend to influence youngsters. Foreign militants are more interested in carrying out terrorist activities than recruitment drives,” he added.

Shamsul Viqar and Bilal Sheikh, two of the three militants arrested from the site of a recent encounter with security personnel at Kund in Kulgam, were produced before the media. The third, identified as Lashkar-e-Taiba militant Atta Mohammad Malik, is still hospitalised with critical injuries.

A soldier and a militant were killed in the encounter on Tuesday.

Police said Malik, who hails from DH Pora area in Kulgam, had joined the militant group 20 days ago. Viqar, on the other hand, was an ace cricketer and a promising student at a prominent school in Anantnag before he decided to associate himself with the militant group in May. A photograph of the boy brandishing an assault rifle at a sports stadium in the south Kashmir town had gone viral last week.

Security personnel recovered an AK-47 rifle, a carbine and a pistol from Viqar’s possession.

First Published: Nov 16, 2017 14:51 IST