|EARLY TIMES REPORT|
Srinagar, Sept 27: Notwithstanding the claims of the Center, the recruitment of local youth into militancy continues in Kashmir with 130 joining the militant ranks this year so far as against 140 in 2019. As per the official data 140 local youth joined militant ranks in 2019 while the number is 130 this year so far. In 2018, over 200 local youth had joined militant ranks in the Union Territory. However, out of 130 newly recruited militants, security forces have killed 55 and arrested 29 till present.
On August 5 last year, New Delhi scrapped the constitutional provisions of autonomy in Article 370 and 35A and split the region into two union territories. The Center contended these measures were needed to dismantle a system they claimed fostered separatism, radicalization and militancy.
However, more than a year later, the violence continues unabated in Kashmir and since the beginning of 2020, more than 180 militants have been killed. The number of militants killed in 2019 was less than 160.
Kashmir's armed insurgency became more local in recent years and the trend continues this year as well. As cross-border infiltration from Pakistan became more difficult in recent years, locally recruited Kashmiri militants continue to outnumber foreign Islamist militants.
"Only the limited weapons supply is preventing the resentment in Kashmir from swelling into a mass insurgency. If weapons are available easily, more local youths will join the militancy," he revealed.