Jammu and Kashmir saw a sharp increase in local youths taking to militancy in 2020 despite Covid-19 restrictions and clampdown by security forces, as per official data. As many as 167 local youths joined militant groups such as Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Terrorist Resistance Front in 2020, up from 115 in the previous year, said officials.
Officials said there was also an increase in the number of active over-ground workers of militant groups, with more than 600 of them, including some active militants, being held in joint operations by the army, Jammu and Kashmir police and the Central Reserve Police Force.
Nine leaders and activists of the BJP were among the 11 political workers of different mainstream political parties who were shot dead by militants last year in the run-up to the district development council polls in December. These included BJP panchayat member Bhupinder Singh, district president of its Other Backward Classes unit Abdul Hamid Najar and Sheikh Waseem Bari.