Youths joining militancy in Kashmir highest since 2010 | KNO

Youths joining militancy in Kashmir highest since 2010 | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Setting a dangerous trend on the militancy front in Jammu and Kashmir, 2018 has witnessed nearly 130 youths joining various terror outfits, the highest since 2010, said officials in Srinagar.

A majority of these militants are affiliating themselves with groups ideologically aligned with the Al-Qaeda, added reports said. According to data till July 31, 2018, around 131 youths have joined various terror outfits and Shopian district has alone contributed the maximum of 35 so far.

The number of local recruits in 2017 was 126. The officials said that youths are joining the Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, a group which claims support of Al-Qaeda and is headed by Zaqir Rashid Bhat alias Zaqir Musa, who hails from a village in the Tral area of Pulwama district. This year's figures were the highest since 2010, according to a recent data presented in the state assembly and Parliament.

There has been a steady rise in the number of youths taking up arms in the valley since 2014 onwards as compared to the period from 2010 to 2013 when the figure stood at 54, 23, 21 and 6 respectively. In 2014, the number shot up to 53 and in 2015, it reached 66 before touching the highest mark of 88 in 2016, the data showed.