Recruitment in terror groups on sharp decline in J&K since August 5: Army sources

Last year, the number of local recruits was 214, while this year it went down to 110, as recorded till November end. (Image for representation: PTI)

There is a sharp decline in local recruitment in terror groups with only 14 Kashmiri youth joining such camps since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, Army sources said quoting a ground assessment report.

The sources said that there were close to 90 recruits till the end of the July but since August, the numbers have dipped. On average, 12-13 youth were joining terror groups each month before the abrogation of Article 370.

“The slow recruitment in the last four months has brought down the numbers dramatically in comparison to the previous years,” said a source.

Last year, the number of local recruits was 214, while this year it went down to 110, as recorded till November end.

Article 370 of the Indian Constitution gave special powers to Jammu and Kashmir and with the removal of the provision, the Narendra Modi-led government turned the state into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Officials said that despite attempts by Pakistan to fuel terror and enhance recruitment, the opposite happened mainly due to the internet clampdown.

“Social media, WhatsApp in particular, was used in the past to mobilise mobs for carrying out incidents like stone pelting at security forces. It had also become a crucial tool for terror recruitment,” an official said.

Thousands of people including politicians and those who could mobilise crowds have been under detention since August 5 with the government not making numbers public.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti are also under detention since then.

There have been fewer people at funeral of terrorists who were killed in action by security forces in the last few months, officials claimed.

The increase in deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) has also helped in keeping a check on the recruitment.

In the past, funerals had also become recruiting opportunities for terror groups where people were spotted and then lured to join them.

Terror groups in a change in tactic attacked civilians in the last few months and 17 civilians have been killed since August 5. These included workers from outside Kashmir and even locals to instil fear among the population.