Even as guns have fallen silent at the Line of Control (LoC) following a ceasefire with Pakistan, terror recruitment in Kashmir continues despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdown.
According to sources in the security establishment, at least 40 youths have joined terror ranks this year while 50 are “missing”. Several of those “missing” are suspected to have joined terror groups but have not been included in the official count by the police and security forces as the recruitment is not established yet.
“This year there have been around 40 who have joined terror groups, basically the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Al-Badr. However, around 50 are still missing,” a senior-level source told ThePrint.
This continuing trend of recruitment was also confirmed by another arm of the defence and security establishment, which is involved in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.
“Yes, we have not been able to arrest this recruitment trend. The trend in numbers is around the same as 2020 and that is a worry,” a source said.
Meanwhile, several new groups with different names have cropped up in Kashmir to provide a front to traditional Pakistan-sponsored terror organisations. This will allegedly allow the country to claim deniability on these terror groups.
On 2 June, ThePrint had reported that while there had been no ceasefire violations since 25 February, Pakistan’s support to terror elements in Kashmir continues through hawala operators and other means.