83% youth who joined militancy in last 18 months were stone-pelters: GoC Dhilon

The Army on Friday said its “in-house analysis” on Kashmir’s home grown militancy has revealed that 83 percent of local youth who joined militancy in the past 18 months had a “record of stone-pelting”.

“As per our analysis, 83 percent of local boys who picked up gun had a record of stone pelting. My sincere request to mothers in Kashmiri is that if their children are resorting to stone pelting for just Rs 500,

they must ponder over it and keep their wards away from it,” said General Officer Commanding (GoC) 15 Corps, lieutenant general KJS Dhilon.

He was addressing media persons at Army’s Srinagar-based headquarters here. “The analysis shows that today’s stone pelter is tomorrow’s militant,” he said.

Quoting the report, the GoC said 7 percent of militants who picked up gun were killed in first 10 days of their joining militancy and 9 percent of them were killed in their first month in militancy.

He said another 17 percent of the militants were killed in the first three months after their picking up the gun and 36 percent were killed in first six months of their joining militancy.

Besides, he said 64 percent of militants were killed in first year of their joining the militant groups. “This shows the life of a youth who picks up the gun is short,” said GoC Dhilon.

He reiterated his appeal to Kashmiri mothers to persuade their sons, who have joined militancy, to return home to live a normal life. “Army will facilitate safe return of those boys,” he said.

The GoC said Army was facing regular infiltration bids on LoC and attempts to push in militants to this side of Kashmir were also being made from “non-traditional routes” including Jammu-Panthankote sector.

“However all infiltration bids are being foiled effectively,” the GoC said, adding the latest ceasefire violation was witnessed on July 30 in Gurez where three militants trying to infiltrate were killed.  “If the other side resorts to ceasefire violation again, our response will be very hard,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, the Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh said situation in Kashmir was under control as far as the militancy was concerned.

“Over the past one year, we launched very successful anti-militancy operations. In Jammu region, the number of militants is just eight as one of the militants surrendered yesterday only. Our appeal to parents bore the fruits and many young boys returned to their homes and are living a normal and peaceful life now,” he said.

The DGP said the crackdown on separatists, Jamaat-e-Islami and JKLF leadership helped to establish peace in the region. “On the militancy front, our target remains militant leadership and we succeeded on that front.  Today, Ansaar Gazwatul Hind (AGH) has been wiped out, Al-Badar has been decimated and Hizbul Mujahideen demolished to a large extent,” the DGP said.

He said “Terror Monitoring Group” (TMG) that was working under ADGP CID has also started its job and many “modules involved in funding militancy have been busted.”

He said overall situation in Kashmir has “improved a lot” as 3.40 lakh Yatris paid obeisance at the Amarnath cave shrine. The DGP said that anti-militancy operations will continue in the State.

He said the deployment of additional forces in Kashmir was being exaggerated. “The number is too less and meant to replace security personnel who were already deployed in the Valley since Muncipal polls last year,” the DGP said.