Internal Security

Terrorist outfits step up recruitment drive despite J&K blockade

Terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) has had a lot of success in recruiting people into its fold from south Kashmir last year, according to intelligence and security data. The information has come to light in the wake of increased cordon and search operations, especially in Shopian, Pulwama, and Awantipora, where security forces have been eliminating terrorists belonging to the Hizbul Mujahideen and JeM.

Security forces gunned down 50 JeM terrorists in 2019, of which 31 were home-grown and 19 were foreign militants, according to data of the Union home ministry that was reviewed by Mint. At the same time, the Hizbul Mujahideen lost 46 terrorists, all of whom were home-grown, while the Lashkar-e-Taiba lost 35 terrorists of which 30 were home-grown and five from across the border.

The recruitment into armed cadres of the terrorist groups was the highest in Pulwama and Shopian. As many as 37 terrorists were recruited from Pulwama, while 22 were recruited from Shopian. In comparison, in north Kashmir, 14 terrorists were recruited from Anantnag, while 12 each were recruited from Baramulla and Kulgam.

The stringent blockade put in place after the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 failed to prevent the recruitment of terrorists, with 11 being recruited in Kashmir between August and November 2019.

Pulwama recorded the highest number of terrorists being eliminated in the days following 5 August, accounting for seven of the 21 being gunned down.

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