Inside Kashmir

Local youth joining militancy is a serious cause of concern in Kashmir: IGP

Srinagar: Terming joining of local youth in militant ranks a ‘serious’ cause of concern in the valley, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, on Friday said that more hard work is required to bring back misguided youth into the mainstream.

“Local youth joining militancy is a serious cause of concern… we have been talking with parents to keep a watch on their children. We have also upped our surveillance. But we need to put in more efforts to bring back misguided youth into the mainstream,” Mr Kumar told reporters at District Police Line (DPL) Srinagar on the occasion of ‘National Anti-Terrorism Day’.

The IGP said the local militants are given opportunity even during live encounters to surrender and join the mainstream. “We have been delaying encounters by three to four hours so that ample opportunity is given to local militants to surrender. We have achieved success at many places were militants have surrendered during live encounters,” he said.

“All our officials are working very hard to persuade local militants to surrender. We have arrested many Over Ground Workers (OGWs) and many of them have been booked also. But, again we need to work very hard,” he added.

Answering a question whether vacuum created due to marginalization of separatists and decline in stone pelting will result in more youth joining militant ranks, the IGP said many steps were being taken by police to engage youth by organizing sports activities, cultural and educational events, besides other programmes.

However, he said all these activities had to be suspended due to second wave of COVID-19. “Once this temporary situation of COVID pandemic ends, we will restart these programmes and engage youth to bring them back to the mainstream by means of sports activities, education or cultural events,” he said.

“Our aim in not only to end militancy, but to create a sense of security among people and ensure the region is developed,” he added.

Answering another question, Mr Kumar said that the police department is with the policemen, who are working tirelessly on the roads for the safety of the people, and their families.

To raise the moral of the policemen, Mr Kumar said he will go to the field and meet the personnel to motivate them to ensure safety and security of the people. “My officers and I will be going with a message that our men on ground that they must continue their great work and contribute towards making the atmosphere more peaceful in the time ahead,” he said.

“Every year National Anti Terrorism Day is celebrated across the country on May 21. The objective behind the observance of this day is to wean away youth from militancy and educate them about our culture of nonviolence and harmony. We reeducate them that it is our culture to condemn every type of violence,” he observed.

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