Protests against ultras’ encounter raise concern; radicalized youths under the lens
For the first time, an alarming similarity is seen in the security situation between Kashmir valley and Jammu province — swelling of the crowd at the funeral of terrorist killed in encounter besides hartals, protests, and demonstrations against their killings.
The first such incident took place in Sunderbani region of Rajouri on March 28 this year after four terrorists were neutralized. More than 1,000 locals attended the funeral of these terrorists and raised slogans against the Government. Since then, Doda, Rajouri, and Poonch have regularly witnessed bandhs and protests whenever terrorists are killed in South Kashmir and a call is given by separatist organizations for a strike. This didn’t use to happen in Jammu region earlier. It has forced the security agencies to redraw their strategy to contain terror from spreading in the State.
Admitting that this phenomenon is a cause of concern, sources in the security establishment said the agencies are now keeping a close watch on the activities of “radicalized” youth and their mentors in Jammu region to prevent them from joining the ranks of terror in Kashmir valley.
The ultra commanders, still active in Kashmir valley, are desperately seeking to involve more radicalized young men to keep the “terror” pot boiling. After the elimination of several top commanders of various terror outfits in the recent operations, the terrorist organizations have reportedly received instructions to recruit fresh faces from the Jammu region as well to fill the gap.
Over 170 youths from the Valley have joined terror ranks in the State this year, 50 more than that in 2017. Efforts are on to prevent misguided youths from Jammu region to jump the fence for the so-called cause, sources said adding most of the local recruits are getting killed in encounters within six months of picking up the gun.
According to reports, at least half a dozen youth from Jammu region have already joined terror ranks in recent months. The security forces in the region are a worried lot as local residents in several vulnerable pockets are coming forward and sympathizing with these radicalized youth.
The alarm bells started ringing in frontier Rajouri and Doda districts when large crowds attended the funeral procession of terrorists killed by security forces. Since then security forces have busted many terror modules and seized huge cache of arms and ammunition from their hideouts.
Regular “hartals” and protest demonstrations against the killing of local ultras in Kashmir valley have also become a headache for security forces.
Close scrutiny of activities of these radicalised youth, who are participating in these events, clearly suggested they have been tutored by their handlers to organise these events to send across a loud message.
Though security forces have neutralised more than 230 terrorists this year, the highest in last five to six years, intelligence reports indicate 250-270 ultras are still active in the region. Out of this over 100 are believed to be foreign terrorists. Addition of new recruits will definitely swell the numbers of terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir regions thereby posing a fresh challenge to the anti-insurgency grid, officials said. Read more posts…
Monday, 03 December 2018 | Mohit Kandhari/Rahul Datta | Jammu/New Delhi-–
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