700 local youths recruited by militant groups in J&K in last 4 years

NEW DELHI — Militant groups recruited 700 Jammu and Kashmir youths into their fold in the last four years, while 141 militants, the majority of them foreigners, are currently active in the union territory, officials said.

The presence of a large number of militants in Jammu and Kashmir indicates unabated infiltration from militants launch pads across the border.

According to Union Ministry of Home Affairs statistics, a total of 82 foreign militants were operating in Jammu and Kashmir as on July 5, 2022, while there were 59 active local militants.

The militants mostly belong to outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba, its offshoot The Resistance Front, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen, an official said, citing the data.

Different militant groups have recruited 700 local youths in Jammu and Kashmir in the last four years — 187 in 2018, 121 in 2019, 181 in 2020 and 142 in 2021.

By the end of June this year, 69 youths had been recruited by militant groups into their fold.

Security forces have eliminated 125 militants in 55 encounters so far this year. Of these, 91 were locals and 34 foreigners.

Besides, 123 militants were apprehended in these encounters and large quantities of arms and ammunition recovered from their possession.

As many as 172 militants were apprehended in Jammu and Kashmir in 2021, 251 in 2020, 148 in 2019 and 185 in 2018, according to the data.

Two security personnel have lost their lives in militant incidents so far this year and 23 were injured. Twenty civilians have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir in militant incidents this year.

Jammu and Kashmir has seen eight grenade attack incidents this year.

According to the data, 146 militants, three security personnel and 41 civilians were killed in Jammu and Kashmir in militant incidents in 2021; 215 militants, 19 security personnel and 38 civilians were killed in 2020; 148 militants, 49 security personnel and 46 civilians were killed in 2019; and 185 militants, seven security personnel and 72 civilians were killed in 2018.

A total of 63 security personnel were injured in militant incidents in 2021, 165 in 2020, 376 in 2019 and 765 in 2018, the data showed. — (PTI)