Governor N.N. Vohra recently held a series of meetings with the top security brass, including intelligence officers, to hammer out a new strategy to wean away the local youth from terrorist ranks in Kashmir Valley. According to officers of the state administration, the Governor is not happy with the way recently some encounters were conducted by the Army and security forces in South Kashmir.

“The growing trend among the educated Kashmiri youth to pick up guns has become a challenge for us,” one of the senior police officers, who was present in the meeting at Raj Bhavan, told The Sunday Guardian. “There is a growing unease in the top brass of administration about the failure of the surrender policy to wean away youths from the terrorist ranks. The Governor has asked for feedback from the ground in Kashmir Valley from all the wings of the security and intelligence agencies on how to deal with this growing trend,” he added.

The worry in Raj Bhavan is embedded in the figures recently released by the local police as they have said that till July end, 128 local youth have joined the terrorist ranks. “The Governor was disturbed when he was given the feedback that by the end of current year, there are chances of more and more youths joining the terrorist ranks especially in South Kashmir,” said the officials.

Police figures show that in the first seven months this year, the highest number of youths have turned to terrorism, since 2010 when the valley witnessed a massive unrest.

According to the feedback given to Raj Bhavan by the security grid in the past few months, more than two dozens of youths who had recently shown their presence in the terrorist ranks by uploading their photographs with rifles were killed in gunfights. Most of such operations were completed without any resistance as none of these youth has undergone any training to use the assault or automatic rifles, nor they know how to make bombs or plant IEDs on roads.

Recently, one Khursheed Ahmad Malik was killed in a gunfight in South Kashmir. He had a degree in Engineering and had qualified GATE examination. He also figured in the list of J&K Police for the post of Sub-Inspector after his killing. The Governor stressed that such boys should be either encouraged to surrender or should be taken alive during the anti-insurgency operations.

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