Army plans to engage with Kashmiris through music fests, sports programmes: Report

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In order to engage with the youth of the Kashmir valley, the Indian Army is doubling efforts on outreach programmes even as anti-militancy operations continue.

According to a report by The Print, the aim of the Army at present is to ensure that militancy recruitment, which has been high in 2020, does not go up.

The report quoting an unnamed official involved in anti-militancy operations in south Kashmir, reported that the army has increased its outreach programmes: “We have increased our outreach programmes. There is regular interaction with the youth now which includes music festivals, sports tournaments and even visits to Army establishments.”

Asked what will be the course of action for 2021, the official told the online news portal, “We are going to increase outreach programmes by being in regular touch with the youth. Our first focus is to ensure surrender. However, when the militants open fire, there is no other way than to fire back”.

The source added that strict measures have been put in place to ensure that disproportionate force is not used during operations.

A total of 225 militants have been killed in 2020, Jammu and Kashmir Police DGP Dilbag Singh had said on 31 December.

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