The security forces combating a three-decade-old insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir have over the past several months mounted pressure on militant outfits in south Kashmir, forcing the latter to shift their bases to central and north Kashmir.
South Kashmir –consisting of four districts namely Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag – has been the hotbed of insurgency especially after militant commander Burhan Wani was along with two associates killed by Indian Army in July 2016.
The killing of 22-year-old Internet savvy poster boy of frontline indigenous militant outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahideen not only triggered widespread unrest in Kashmir Valley and parts of Chenab valley of Jammu region during which more than eighty people were killed, most of them in security forces’ actions, it also inspired hundreds of Kashmir’s youth to join militants’ ranks. With it, the armed separatist campaign gained a new life, as South Kashmir became the stronghold of new-age militancy.
The Army and other security forces officials have repeatedly admitted that Burhan ‘s death encouraged hundreds of Kashmiri youth to join the militant ranks. Most of them were from South Kashmir. Burhan Wani himself was a resident of Tral area of South Kashmir.