THERE HAS been a spike in the recruitment of local youths by militant groups in Kashmir following the end of the Ramzan ceasefire. According to data compiled by J&K’s Multi-Agency Centre (MAC), the month of June saw 27 youths from the Valley — mainly from the districts of Shopian, Pulwama, Anantnag and Kulgam in South Kashmir — joining militancy.
“The increase in the number of local youths picking the gun last month came after June 16, which was Eid, when the ceasefire ended and the security forces decided to undertake operations,” said a Srinagar-based security official.
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After an all-time high of 28 in April, militant recruitment in the Valley had dropped to 14 in May.
The data (till June-end) shows that 82 local youths have joined militancy since the beginning of the year, raising fears in the security establishment that this could be the worst year ever in terms of local recruitment of militants in the Valley. In 2017, 128 local youths were reported to have joined…