Army Concerned over Youth Rejoining Militancy

KATRA: A top army commander in Jammu and Kashmir today expressed concern over reports that several Kashmiri youths were joining militancy and said it was the collective responsibility of all the  agencies to stop the trend and engage the youngsters in constructive activities.

“See, to my mind, more important than the number is that any youth joining the militancy (in Kashmir) is a cause of concern. It is a collective responsibility of all the agencies to make sure that the youth is effectively engaged (so they don’t end up taking guns),” General officer in Command of the Srinagar-based 15 corps of the Army Lt Gen Subrata Saha told reporters after a function here today.

He said that the youth in Kashmir must be given an opportunity to pursue their future and must be given the right platform to grow.

On the issue of waiving of terror outfit Islamic State’s flag in Kashmir Valley, Gen Saha said that it was an important development which need to be watched by various agencies.

“See, it is an important development which need to be watched by various agencies,” he said

Asked about the incidents of ceasefire violations by Pakistan, Gen Saha said the counter infiltration grid was robust and all the infiltration attempts made this year were foiled.

“See our counter infiltration grid is fully robust and till date from the time when the snow has melted all the attempts of infiltration have been foiled and all the  terrorists have been eliminated who were attempting to infiltrate into our side,” he said.

When asked about steps the army was taking to engage Kashmiri youth in constructive activities, Gen Saha said, “Basically we are engaging youth in a big way through multiple initiative whether in terms of sports finding talent, empowering them giving right kind of education, right kind of skills and vocational training to them and also help them in terms of employment.”

He said that after floods hit Kashmir in September last year the army has created over 700 vacancies in Kashmir in Army.

“767 vacancies were created in the army for Kashmir, 753 for the territorial army, vacancies were also filled in the regular army and in the home and hearth battalion of the army for the youth of Kashmir,” he said.

He said that the local formations of the army were also helping the youth to find employment avenues.

Army, militants trade fire near LoC

A gun battle took place on Wednesday between the army and militants near the Line of Control (LoC) in Kupwara district, an official said.

The gunfight started near the Eagle Manju post forest area of Karnah (Kupwara) in the evening, a police officer said, adding that it appeared to be an infiltration bid. Agencies

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