‘Educated youth joining militancy cause of concern’

Will take initiatives to keep youth meaningfully engaged: GoC

ABID BASHIR
Publish Date: Aug 10 2014 12:00PM

Srinagar, Aug 9: Army Saturday said that reports about educated Kashmiri youth joining militant ranks were “very disturbing and a cause of concern.” He said the development will encourage the Army to take initiatives to keep the youth “meaningfully engaged.”
Replying to reporters’ queries after unveiling statue of a slain soldier at Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) Regimental Centre at Rangreth here, the General Officer Commanding (GoC) of Srinagar-based 15 Corps, Lt General SubrataSaha, said there were reports that many educated youth were joining militancy. “If educated youth are joining militancy, it is more disturbing. It is certainly a cause of concern for us. It encourages us to take initiatives to keep the youth meaningfully engaged,” Saha said.
He said there seems to be no change in the trends of militant infiltration. “I won’t say there is increase in infiltration. The trend of infiltration is similar as it was in the previous years,” Saha said in reply to a query whether a large number of militants were trying to infiltrate into this side ahead of elections.
He said given the number of infiltration bids foiled and the militants killed, the trend seems to be same. “We have been able to deal effectively with the militants because of the very robust counter-infiltration posture along the LoC. This is an important factor to ensure secure conditions for the people to exercise their franchise in the elections,” Saha said in reply to a query how Army would ensure peaceful elections.
On the timing of infiltration, the General said that militants have a very typical way of functioning. “As the snow melts, infiltration process starts. It peaks up to a certain level and when snow falls it decreases because of the terrain. I would again say that way of sneaking into this side is quite similar to the past,” he said and reiterated that the infiltration bids are effectively being dealt following the improved robust counter-insurgency measures.
On the ceasefire violations, the GoC said that in the 15 Corps zone, which is responsible for Kashmir region, the proportion of ceasefire violations is not that enormous as compared to 16 Corps zone and the South of PirPanjal. “Here we are able to deal with it very effectively,” he said.
On the ongoing encounter in Karnah sector, the GoC said that militants had taken refuge in a very dense forest area. “The operation is in progress. There are steep slopes. We won’t like to take a chance in a terrain like that,” he said.
Asked whether militants were facing weapon shortage, the GoC said in the previous encounter where four militants were killed, eight AK 47 rifles were recovered. “In the ongoing one, four AK 47 rifles and some navigation equipments have been recovered,” he said.