85 and counting: Several Kashmiri youth make a beeline for the Hizbul Mujahideen
Srinagar, Sept 15: There is still no clarity on the 85 youth who have gone missing from South of Kashmir since the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir began. Although some locals have cried foul over this episode, Intelligence Bureau officials maintain that all are alive and with the Hizbul Mujahideen.
Efforts are on to track these people, but the intercepts do clearly suggest that they have joined the Hizbul Mujahideen, the Intelligence Bureau official said. It appears as though these people were inspired by Burhan Wani, the Hizbul Mujahideen commander who was killed in an encounter on July 8, 2016.
While conducting a profiling of many of these missing people, the IB learnt that they were seen at funerals of militants. Several of them were also seen at the funeral of Burhan Wani and were raising slogans.
There is no doubt that all of them have joined the outfit in the name of Wani, the officer noted.
The youth who have gone missing are from Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnag and Kulgam. These areas have witnessed most violence since the unrest began on July 9- a day after Wani's killing.
The Intelligence Bureau suspects that the number may be more than 85. There has been a lot of propaganda that has been made since the killing of Wani, which has lured several youth into the fold of the Hizbul Mujahideen.
The official also noted that a majority of the youth have joined the Hizbul Mujahideen and not the Lashkar-e-Taiba although the latter does continue to make desperate efforts.