Support for militancy wiped out in Kashmir: Lt Gen BS Raju

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Srinagar: A senior army officer, who is head of Kashmir-based 15 corps, has called the recent “uncoordinated acts of violence” in North Kashmir, “signs of desperation” by militants as a result of not finding resonance among people who want to get out of the cycle of violence.

Lt General BS Raju claimed that “the sharp dip in this year in the recruitment of local youths” in militancy is a subsequent evidence of the same. He told a newswire, PTI, that he feels the basic premise of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir is to create sensationalism that is backed by “false narratives and propaganda sponsored by Pakistan”.

“Overall, the people want a solution, they want to get out of this cycle of violence and that is the reason that the support for terrorism has been all but wiped out,” he said.

“The recruitment of local youth in the terrorist outfits has also reduced by nearly half from 2018 to 2019 and is even lesser in 2020,” he said, adding that the militant outfits “are in a self-preservation mode.”

Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbag Singh had said that 218 local youths had joined militant outfits in 2018 but only 139 joined in 2019.

Lt General Raju also added that one should not read much into the increased number of militancy-related acts in north Kashmir and said the dynamic nature of militancy and the ability to change locations or tactics as per the pressure of the government forces is a common characteristic worldwide.

“Our counter infiltration and counter terrorism grids have inherent flexibility to adapt themselves to these dynamic shifts,” he said.

The senior army officer said the spurt in militancy is not in North Kashmir but restricted to the border districts and that is primarily due to the large number of infiltration attempts and militants wanting to create a base there to receive infiltrators.

“We are prepared for any contingency, in coordination with all stakeholders like the army, JK police, CAPF, intelligence agencies and the civil administration,” Lt General Raju said.

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