Youth joining militant ranks in Jammu and Kashmir have a “short shelf life” with more than 64 per cent of them being killed by government forces within a year, officials said on Sunday.
Government forces, aided by a strong on-ground intelligence network, have scaled up operations in the first five months of this year, though frequent violence in south Kashmir remained a cause for concern, quoting the officials Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.
Citing data of militants neutralised between 1 January and 31 May this year, the officials said that 64.1 per cent of the new recruits were eliminated within a year.
Only 26.6 per cent of the recruits lasted more than 12 months, while the fate of 9.3 per cent of them was not known, they said, as per the report.
Giving further details, the officials said 28.1 per cent of the recruits were killed within one month, 54.7 per cent within six months and 59.4 per cent within nine months.
The officials added that 70 to 75 youths have joined various groups in Kashmir Valley in the first five months of this year. The corresponding figure of last year was near equal.
They said south Kashmir continued to be the hotbed of militancy in the valley as the region saw 59 killings by government forces in the first five months of this year compared to 31 such killings in central and north Kashmir.
As per the report of PTI, out of the total 90 militants killed in the valley between January and May, 26 were Pakistani nationals and the number is much more than that of the whole of previous year when 182 militants, including 20 foreigners, were killed in 100 operations, the officials said.
The officials said 45 militants were arrested during the period along with huge cache of arms and ammunition, with analysis and intelligence inputs suggesting a large supply of pistols aimed at target killings besides AK assault rifles, improvised explosive devices and sticky bombs.
Six of the 90 militants killed in 47 gunfights were eliminated on the Line of Control (LoC) while trying to infiltrate into the valley from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the officials said, adding the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) suffered the major setbacks as 52 of its militants were eliminated and 18 others apprehended since January this year.
The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) was the second on the chart with 20 of its militants being killed and four others arrested, followed by the Hizbul Mujahideen (11 dead and one arrested) and Al-Badr (four dead and three arrested). The identity of three remaining slain militants could not be ascertained, the officials said.
The officials said another alarming trend noticed was the large influx of pistols apparently meant to carry out targeted killings.
Nearly 350 pistols were recovered by the government forces during counter-insurgency operations since January this year with 92 seized in the month of May, the officials said, adding five IEDs were also recovered in May for the first time this year with intelligence inputs pointing to the use of magnetic bombs, also known as sticks bombs. (PTI)