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September 28, 2022 11:24 pm

GOI’s Kashmir Agenda To Get Youngsters Into Mainstream: Army

GoC 16 Corps Lieutenant General Manjinder Singh | File Photo

‘Need Whole Of Nation Approach To Save Youth From Getting Radicalised’

Nagrota- A ‘whole of nation’ approach is needed to save the youth of Jammu and Kashmir from getting radicalised, a senior Army official said on Wednesday.

General officer Commanding (GoC) 16 Corps Lieutenant General Manjinder Singh said it is the government’s agenda to get youngsters into the mainstream and the Army is aligned with it to ensure peace and development in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Radicalisation is a phenomenon under which the enemy country is making efforts to dislodge youth (of Jammu and Kashmir) from the right path and take them on the wrong path. To save them (from getting radicalised), we need a whole of nation approach,” the GoC of the Jammu-based White Knight Corps told reporters here.

To get youngsters into the mainstream is the agenda of the government and the Army is aligned with it to ensure peace and development in Jammu and Kashmir, Lt Gen Singh said while replying to questions about “growing radicalisation” among the youth.

Lt Gen Singh said the whole of nation approach involves participation of family, society, religious leaders, and teachers to prevent the youth from getting radicalised.

The Army is helping them, he asserted.

Lt Gen Singh said the Army identifies “hostile” profiles on social media and offers counselling to their owners.

“We remain active on this front on social media. In joint efforts with police, we identify hostile profiles and undertake counselling of several of them,” he said.

The radicalised youths are booked as overground workers (OGWs) of terrorist organisations and dealt accordingly, he added.

The GoC said, “To get the youth into the mainstream is the agenda of the government and the Army is aligned to it, because it will take the youth on the path of development and peace. The enemy will not succeed in its agenda”.

He said the Army organises educational, sports and cultural initiatives to provide opportunities to the youth so that they do not fall into the trap of radicalisation being initiated by the adversary through social media campaigns.

Attacking Pakistan, he said the country launched the “thousand cuts” plan to disturb peace in Jammu and Kashmir in the 1990s.

“They wanted to bleed India through a thousand cuts but the troops of the White Knight Corps stood up against it. Today, we see peace progress and development in Jammu region. One thousand terrorists have been killed in the region since then,” he said.

Replying to another question about the challenges that the Army is facing, he said, narcotics are being smuggled from across the border in addition to weapons and infiltration bids.

The Army is capable to stop it and has a surveillance grid, fencing and soldiers performing 24-hour duties so that the enemy is not able to infiltrate, he said.

The second challenge is the enemy using vulnerable points on the LoC for infiltration, he said.

“Pakistan is trying to infiltrate terrorists, and smuggle ammunition and narcotics. But we have a counter-terrorism grid to ensure the terrorists are eliminated,” he said, adding that it was a “good thing” that the people of the south of Pirpanchal were “anti-militants”.

“We have seen no support (for terrorists) from the population and this is a healthy sign for us. We want to encash on it,” he added.

“So far, the violence in Jammu is significantly low. We have a strong anti-infiltration grid and we are concentrating on securing the hinterlands for which we have a strong anti-terror grid,” he said.

On the issue of use of drones by Pakistan to drop weapons and narcotics here, he said the phenomenon is more common in Punjab.

“There is less sighting of drones in our (White Knight Corps) areas and we suspect the ones seen here are a reconnaissance by the enemy, hence we are soon getting an anti-drone mechanism,” he said.

“We have our plans. Equipment is coming in order to foil drone threats,” he said.

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