Security Agencies Fear Militant Groups May Lure Flood-hit Youth

7 April 2015

New Delhi: The recent floods in Kashmir Valley have rendered many youths jobless, raising fears among the security agencies that they could become easy target for militant groups to join their ranks. Security agencies have cited certain examples that youths from South Kashmir, especially Tral, Shopian, Bijbehara and Kulgam, having joined the militant groups. Quoting inputs from security agencies, official sources said at least three dozen youths have joined different militant groups in past few months. In another case, PSO of a sitting Minister disappeared with his weapon and investigators have found that the policeman along with three others have joined militant group Hizbul Mujahideen. Sources said one of the worrisome facts is that many of the youths who are joining the militant groups are educated and are from affluent families. Last year, recruitment of local youth was very low. As per an estimate, 65 local youth had joined militancy last year. With the imminent tourist season and shifting of Darbar, the inputs suggest that incidents of violence may go up in the Valley. The floods last year claimed more than 100 lives and submerged a large area in Kashmir valley. Sources also said three terrorist groups operating in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) are trying to sneak into Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir. In one of the groups, there are 10-15 militants lodged opposite the Indian posts of Khukri 1 and 2 in the district. The other group of around 10 terrorists is spotted in nearby areas. Around six militants of the third group are also awaiting opportunities to enter India. According to the intelligence reports, ISI and Pakistan Army are giving direction to the these militants.