Huge Local Recruitment By LeT, Huji Before J-K Polls

2 February 2009
The Indian Express

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir police report has said that the militants including Lashkar-e-Toiba whose cadre comprised mostly foreigners carried out recruitment of local youth on massive scale before the recently held assembly polls in the state. The police said that while they were busy with the conduct of polls, many youth from areas of Doda and Kishtwar were both trained locally and some sent cross-border by militants. In the last few months, both Laskhar and other militant outfits including Harkat-ul-Jehad-i-Islami have recruited over 20 youths from areas of Kishtwar, Doda and Rajouri. 'The militant recruitments were being carried out before polls to create disturbance,' sources said, adding that the police managed to foil any big militant attempt to disrupt poll process in the state. Inspector General of Police, Jammu zone, K Rajendra said that 'the recruitments by militant outfits were forced. The youth were taken away on gun point and made to join militant ranks.' While some youth have been trained in Pakistan, sources said others were lifted as over ground workers to strengthen the local militant network. 'Even the Huji, which was mostly of the militants from Pakistan earlier, is now making local people join them as over ground workers,' said a top police officer. Sources said that police have managed to smash the network of Huji outfit in the state with only 2 to 3 of its militants surviving in the state at present. In Kishtwar, there are only two top Huji commanders who have been left. 'Huji has been virtually made defunct with surviving militant commanders also on the run,' said Kishtwar district SP Haseeb Moughal. 'We arrested a Huji commander here yesterday who was involved in the killing of a colonel and five other personnel of GREF last year. He was also involved in political killings and five murders.' There are only two militant commanders of Huji who have been left in Kishtwar, he added. Huji in the last few months has received a serious blow after some of its top commanders were killed by police. Some of the slain militants included Bashir Lohar, who was eliminated in police action in Udhampur last year.