Sameer Showkin Lone
Srinagar | Dec 21: After a brief lull in militant recruitments, two more youth from south Kashmir’s Shopian and Pulwama districts have joined the militant ranks.
According to locals, two youth — one hailing from Shopian district and another from Pulwama district — have joined the militant ranks in last couple of days.
The youth who have joined militancy have been identified as Jahangir Ahmad of Achhan, Pulwama and Shoaib Shah of Shirmal village.
Shirmal is the neighboring village of Heff, Shopian where three militants including top Hizb commander Saddam Paddar, Bilal Mohand and policeman-turned-militant Ishfaq Dar are active.
Sources said Shoaib is the cousin of Lashkar-e-Toiba top commander Waseem Shah, who was killed in gunfight with forces this year.
DIG South Kashmir, SP Pani confirmed about joining of militant ranks by Shoaib and Jahangir.
He, however, said it is not yet confirmed which militant outfit the duo has joined.
There is a speculation that another boy from Shopian district, who is said to be a medical student, has also joined the militant ranks. However, there is no official confirmation about him.
Police sources said Shah was already an Over Ground Worker (OGW) of militants and had assisted the militants, who were involved in the killing of army man Irfan Dar.
Dar, according to police, was killed by militants in Shopian last month.
Pani said joining two boys in the militant ranks wasn’t a major concern for them as both of them had close connections with the militants.
“These recruitments shouldn’t be seen alarming as large number of militants have been killed this year,” said another top police officer in south Kashmir.
He said number of local militants has gone down in south Kashmir as fresh recruitments were not on the scale as was witnessed in the past.
“Besides, 11 to 15 non local militants have been killed in encounters with forces in south Kashmir this year. This makes it clear that foreigners are operating in the area while the number of locals has reduced,” said the police official.
Courtesy: Rising Kashmir
Feature image used is for representational purpose