Updated: August 11, 2021 7:20:36 am
At least 57 youths from J&K who went to Pakistan in 2017 and 2018 either on tourist visa or study visa joined militancy, J&K Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh said on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters in Rajouri, Singh said a number of youth from J&K had gone to Pakistan in 2017 and 2018 on valid documents. “Fifty-seven cases have come to our notice that those who went across [the border] for studies or as tourists joined one or the other terror activity,” he said.
The DGP said 30 of them returned to Kashmir as terrorists after illegally crossing the LoC with weapons. While 17 of the 30 have been killed, 13 are still active in Kashmir and security forces are keeping a watch on them, he said.
Pointing out that 17 of them were still in Pakistan, Singh said this is the reason why authorities have been strict in the recent past in granting clearance to Kashmiri students for travel to Pakistan for studies.
“This has been the reason for strictness as the youth goes from here for studies, but returns as terrorist,” he said. “I don’t know under what situation and circumstances students from J&K stay in Pakistan, but if they return as terrorists it is obvious that you have to become strict by strengthening the security system, which gives clearance.”
In June this year, the J&K Students Association had written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, requesting their intervention in facilitating the travel of around 100 medical and engineering students from Kashmir to Pakistan. In its letter, it urged the authorities concerned to issue them the requisite no objection certificate for studying in Pakistan as sought from them by immigration officials in India.
About the spurt in terror activities in J&K, DGP Singh said cross-border infiltration, which had come to a halt after the February 20 ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan, has resumed from different terrorist launch pads in that country. Two terrorists killed recently in Rajouri’s Thanamandi area were also part of a fresh group that came from Pakistan.
While a Shopian family has claimed the body of one of the slain terrorist, the other appears to be a Pakistani. Prior to this, two other groups infiltrating into Rajouri district from Pakistan were intercepted in Sunderbani and Nowshera areas recently.
“Of the 3-4 groups crossing into this area, while a number of terrorists in the first two groups have been killed, two of the four terrorists in the third group were killed in Thanamandi area,’’ Singh said.
Pointing out that one group is suspected to have crossed over to Shopian in Kashmir, he said the police and security forces are continuing searches to track it.
There has been fresh infiltration by a four-member group in Kashmir as well, he said. However, all four were killed in Bandipore on July 23-24 night, he added.
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