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Millennium Post

Policy relook

Curbing radicalisation assumes priority

Policy relook

Out of the 101 militants gunned down this year in Jammu and Kashmir, the fact that 76 were locals is both surprising and not at the same time. The surprising element is the gradual rise in locals killed in encounters against foreign terrorists. Last year, out of 246, 150 were locals and this year, till now, 76 locals were gunned down out of a total 101. The figures highlight twin inferences of spiked recruitment of youth in various terror outfits and comprehensively failing anti-militancy policy. The security establishment is increasingly worried about a large number of recruitments to the terror outfits which will only increase the toll of locals killed in encounters. Reports suggest of a surge in recruitment of locals to Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, a group affiliated with Al-Qaeda, following Zakir Musa's death on May 23. The increase in local-recruitments necessitates alternative approach to cater to the persistent issue of militancy in the Valley. Kashmir's security apparatus has largely focussed on controlling militancy and youth radicalisation through eliminating crucial figures such as commanders of such outfits and educating families about the detrimental path of militancy. Radicalisation in Kashmir has been effective despite efforts to curb it. The situation, the figures and the trend, all urge the dispensation to revise the anti-militancy policies. It demands alternatives which may be instrumental in controlling mass recruitments by educating families about radicalisation and militancy. But more than that, it demands reasons for such radicalisation which need to be addressed. Accounts of local youngsters picking up arms in the Valley need to be analysed to deduce exactly what is leading them towards anti-civil motives. It is understood that a disturbed environment triggers a conducive effect and the Valley can be said to be an apt breeding ground for the radicalisation of youth. However, scores of youngsters pursuing academics and professional ambitions convince that a troubled Valley due to insurgencies is not the only reason for youth radicalisation. While incessant encounters between terrorists and security forces have not made the situation any better, the rise in youth recruitment holds the capacity to further aggravate the situation. Parents are distraught and security establishment is stressed, and yet, the policies for combating militancy to neutralise the Valley remain the same – disturbing and bloody.

The data presented in Parliament cites an increase in youth picking up arms 2014 onwards, which adequately reflects in the numbers gunned down. Kashmir demands a reinvigorated intervention amidst a dismal reality that has invaded the Valley and eroding the civic fabric from inside. If the trend, as we see, continues then terror outfits may succeed in influencing the entire population of youth to their deranged cause. Civil society interventions can help guide the youth towards productive trajectories but the level of instability in Valley sparks apprehensions, demotivating them. Security establishment may not be able to educate the youth about perils of radicalisation with guns in hands and bloodshed in proximity only adds to the adversity. It is now in the hands of the new government, specifically Union Home Minister, to derive new alternatives which will aid in handling the issue of militancy. Valley's disenchantment in police and security forces must be examined to remedy the situation before it gets out of hands.

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