New Delhi, June 28: In the year 2015 the number of local militants in Kashmir was 88 while the foreign terrorists were 54. This year the number of local militants are 91 while the number of foreign terrorists stands at 54.
It is for the first time in 2015 did the number of local militants in Kashmir surpass the number of foreign militants.
This is in fact a grave situation and looking at the number of terrorist incidents that take place on a daily basis, there is an urgent need to start taking this issue seriously and act before it worsens.
Were the warning signals missed?
Most of the local militants are part of the Hizbul Mujahideen while the foreign terrorists are either from the Lashkar-e-Tayiba (LeT) or the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). Both the Hizbul Mujahideen and the LeT seem to adopting to a similar modus operandi- spare the locals kill the security personnel.
Not a day goes by when an incident from Kashmir is not reported. Militants of the Hizbul Mujahideen have taken it upon themselves to create havoc in the state on a daily basis.
The Hizbul Mujahideen in fact since 2015 has been adopting to newer strategies and one of their major successes lies in the fact that they have managed to capture the imagination of the youth. The appointment of Burhan Wani as the Hizbul Mujahideen commander was aimed at attracting the youth.
The commander in his early 20s is social media savvy and has managed to attain a great deal of success for his outfit. If one looks at the manner in which the number of local militants have been rising in Kashmir, it becomes quite clear that the signals were missed by one and all.
Propaganda and then kill:
The number of local militants is rising thanks to a false propaganda that these groups have been adopting. These groups thrive heavily on false propaganda against the army which leads to the youth turning violent.
In a bid to quell the violence when the army retaliates the scenario turns even worse and this becomes a recruitment tool for terrorist outfits.
Since January this year,security forces have killed 56 militants in Jammu and Kashmir while 37 have been arrested. Last year 108 militants were killed and 39 arrested. The other problem that is being faced by the security personnel is that these terrorists who die are being treated as martyrs.
There is a sense of arrogance among a lot of people in Kashmir when they turn up in large numbers at funerals of these terrorists. What is worse is that they even raise slogans against the army and this is a signal that the perception of the people is changing for the worse.
Experts feel that the coalition in Jammu and Kashmir is yet to settle down. Differences within the BJP-PDP coalition could be one of the reasons for this sudden rise in the number of local militants. One cannot expect Kashmir to be controlled from Delhi. It is the local government that needs to adopt a multi pronged approach to the problem and if this is done effectively then at least the local militancy could be reigned in.