NEW DELHI: Worried about local youth in Kashmir joining militancy, the Army is mulling over the strategies to wean them away from the path of terror. “Till June, 58 youth from the Valley had joined various terror groups. It remains a big concern for us. Another worry is the support of Over Ground Workers, who don’t directly participate in the operations but prepare the base for communication and recruitment,” said an officer, adding that the process of brainwashing the youth and eulogising those who pick up guns continues.
The OGWs have been working as information carriers and recruiters. “Vulnerable families and gullible youth are picked up by them as potential recruits. Peer pressure and romanticisation of the gun attracts the youngsters towards that,” the officer said.
Outlining the strategy to stop the youth from taking the path of terror, he said, “We are offering a large number of scholarships in different parts of the country and are organising sports activities for the youth to channelise their energy so that they don’t get brainwashed by the OGWs.”
Asked if the increasing hold of the Taliban in Afghanistan would have an impact on Kashmir, with Taliban cadres joining terror groups in the Valley, the officer said it’s not going to happen in near future. “It may take another four-five years before the Taliban fighters think of entering Kashmir as they are busy fighting the government forces in their country.”
Though the ceasefire along LoC has not been violated by Pakistan since February, there are signs of terrorist training camps getting re-activated. “There have been two infiltration attempts in the last five months, though without the overt support of Pakistan,” said the officer. He added that activities at some terror launch pads and training locations have been observed of late.