Educated Militants an Aberration not a Trend: DGP

‘Militancy is on a Decline and the Downward Trend is Continuing’

Srinagar - As the ongoing debate on educated youth joining the militant ranks hots up, DG Police, Ashok Prasad today called it an aberration rather than a trend. Prasad said initial investigations had not substantiated media reports suggesting that a large number of educated people were taking up arms in the state.
“Of late there has been some concern about the alleged phenomenon of highly educated youth joining militancy. This matter has been taken seriously at the highest levels in the administration and police is conducting an inquiry. Preliminary results have not substantiated that the phenomenon exists. These projections have not so far been substantiated but will be probed in depth,” said Prasad.
“There is no such phenomenon that educated people are suddenly taking up arms or that there is a great deal of motivation for educated people to join militancy. This is just an aberration. All these militants killed recently are old identified commanders and there is nothing new in it,” he said.
“Recently a militant killed during an operation had a technical degree but his reason for joining militancy had more to do with the fact that his friends and family members have been militants. Another militant had completed his tenth grade and had attempted to get a diploma in engineering in a private institute but failed,” he said
“In fact in grenade throwing incidents in Anantnag, the profile of arrested youth indicates that most of them were extremely poor with very low levels of education and had joined militancy only to secure a livelihood. However the enquiries into the matter are on and the details of the militants killed would be made available in due course of time,” said Prasad.
Prasad dismissed reports of escalation in militancy in the state. “There was 30 per cent reduction in militancy incidents this year and 30 per cent reduction in the last year. Militancy is on a decline and the downward trend is continuing”, he added.
He said there was a concerted series of attacks on security forces in the recent months which should not be read as a major alarm. “These attacks and deaths happened because of the operational laxity of forces and also because they were targeted”, he said.
The State Police Chief said there were around 200 militants present in the state as per the police assessment. “On the basis of our assessment the number of militants is roughly around 160 to 180 in the valley and about 20 to 25 in Jammu region”, he said and added that ten to twelve of the militants were important commanders who were the backbone of militancy. “When a commander is arrested, the task becomes easier for us and the rest of the group disappears,” said the DGP.
On the issue of continuous house arrest of Geelani, Prasad said there were only “reasonable” restrictions on his movement and no restrictions on his religious rights. “He is not being stopped from offering prayers. If he goes to Hyderpora mosque, no body stops him or for that matter nobody stops him from going to Delhi,” the DGP said adding, “The question of restriction on any religious activity does not arise but when the religious platform is likely to be misused for the purpose of spreading hatred or for the purpose of politics, do you think it should be permitted specially when it is going to violate the rights of others, when it is likely to lead to break down of law and order?”
On the removal of bunkers from the city, the DGP said the state government and security establishment were continuously working on the policy of bringing down the footprints of security forces from the residential areas in the valley. He said CRPF would vacate the hotels under their occupation as soon as alternate accommodation was made available to them.
“Eight to nine hotels are presently under the occupation of CRPF but we are trying to find alternate accommodation,” said Prasad.
However, the DGP refused to comment on the revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act
“My stand is that as the DGP I’m not authorised to speak on the issue. It will be decided by the government and the police has actually no role in it,” he said.

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