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  India   All India  12 Feb 2018  J&K militants getting younger, dying sooner

J&K militants getting younger, dying sooner

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANJIB KR BARUAH
Published : Feb 12, 2018, 4:02 am IST
Updated : Feb 12, 2018, 6:24 am IST

At present, about 300 militants are operating in the state, of which about 180 are locals and 120 are of foreign origin.

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat. (Photo: ANI)
 Army Chief General Bipin Rawat. (Photo: ANI)

New Delhi: With a more than 48 per cent spurt in recruitment of Kashmiri militants from 2015 to 2017 and the age profile of those joining the militant ranks getting younger, it is the young who are being gunned down at a faster rate as they are being thrust into operations with rudimentary training.

According to military sources, while the age profile of Kashmiri militants ranged 20-21 years till a few years back, it has come down to about 17-20 years now. In 2015, the number of recruitments made stood at 66, which grew to 88 in 2016 and further spiked to 128 in 2017.

 

Of the total 128 recruitments this year, about 30 per cent are 15-19 years old, 50 per cent are in the 20-25 years age group and 10 per cent in the 25-30 years category. The rest 10 per cent belong to the more than 30 years group. Another interesting feature is that an overwhelming majority are Class 10 and 12 pass-outs.

“Recruitment has picked up. It peaks just after November when the Class 10 and Class 12 results are declared and many of those who do not do well in the exams take to the gun. These young boys are trained locally in handling weapons, unlike the ones who used to be trained in terrorist training camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir or in Pakistan. With their training being rudimentary, they are the first ones who fall to the bullet in encounters with the security forces,” a top source in the military establishment told this newspaper.

 

“The young militants are not even allowed to fire during their short training stint as a result of which they lack good fighting skills. As soon as they join up, they are given a AK-47 rifle by their handlers which is one of the easiest rifles to operate and then ordered to organise attacks.

As a result, the shelf life of militants has come down drastically,” the source added. In the past, the shelf life of a militant in Kashmir was usually between 6-8 months which has further gone down now.

Last month, Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat took on the education system in state government schools and madrasas (Islamic seminaries) in the state which he said were instrumental in spreading misinformation. During the customary annual press conference, he had said: “The education system in J&K government schools is corrupted because the teachers who teach in these schools have also come up in the same way... The kind of education in these schools is wrong.”

 

At present, about 300 militants are operating in the state, of which about 180 are locals and 120 are of foreign origin.

In 2016, 141 militants were shot dead, while 27 were either apprehended or surrendered. In 2017, 213 were killed while 34 were apprehended or surrendered. Till Sunday, the number of militants killed stood at 11 this year, while there were six apprehensions and surrenders.

Tags: kashmiri militants, bipin rawat, j&k government
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi