SRINAGAR: Srinagar: A senior Army officer on Saturday described the trend among some of the educated youth in Jammu& Kashmir to join the militant outfits as a matter of grave concern to the security agencies.
“Any local youth joining militancy in the state is disturbing. And it is all the more disturbing if the educated youth are joining the militant ranks,” Lt Gen Subrata Saha told reporters during a function in Budgam district.
“It certainly encourages us to undertake more initiatives to engage the youth meaningfully, he added.
Official sources said that about a dozen youth, most of whom were educated, had joined the militant ranks in Kashmir over the past 12 months. Some militants, who were killed in recent encounters with security forces in Kashmir, were also educated recruits.
Two of three Hizbul Mujahideen(HM) militants killed in the June 19 encounter with security forces at Tral in Pulwama district too had academic qualifications. One of them was a computer graduate while another had a master’s in Political Sciences.
J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah too had recently acknowledged that the problem did exist. “This year, as well, some people either got compelled or were compelled to join militancy,” Omar had said on Wednesday.
Maintaining that path of violence leads to destruction alone, he said, “Our consistent effort has been to counsel the youth and keep them away from the path of violence.”
Omar, however, said that the number of people joining the militant ranks had gradually come down. “The truth is that every year there is a gradual decrease in those numbers,” he affirmed. PDP president, Mehbooba Mufti, too expressed concern over the local youth joining the militant ranks.
“Highly educated youth are joining militant ranks due to the J&K government’s oppressive anti-youth policies. It is a matter of great concern,” she had said, adding, the anti-youth policies are pushing Kashmiri boys towards the path of violence.