Amid the unrest in Kashmir, there has been a rise in militancy in Chenab Valley of Jammu region as well with police confirming that at least two local youths from the area have joined militant ranks.
While Abid Hussain Butt of Soujan, 15 km from Doda town, has joined the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Talib Gujjar of Kishtwar district’s Padyarna in Nagsini tehsil has joined the Hizbul Mujahideen, sources confirmed.
While the former was working as a labourer in the Valley for the past few months, the latter went missing from home two years ago, they said.
Talib was declared an active militant recently following inputs about his movement with an armed group in Dachhan area.
Police came to know about Abid, code named Abu Tarab, after the LeT uploaded his photograph carrying arms on social media.
J&K DGP S P Vaid confirmed reports of a youth from Doda joining Lashkar ranks in the Valley. Another youth is missing from Kishtwar, he said, adding that police are looking for him.
Terror organisations have been luring youth from everywhere, including other parts of the country, Vaid said, adding that it remains to be seen how successful they are. Police are keeping a watch on all such activities, he said.
In March, security forces had killed three terrorists, including Mohammad Taufeeq of Telangana, in Anantnag district. Another youth from Assam, involved in a garment business in Kishtwar town, joined militant ranks in Dachhan area.
Two youths from Kishtwar who had joined militant ranks in the Valley were also arrested along with an overground worker by a police team from Parimpora police station when they were planning an attack in Srinagar district.
Two more youths from Kishtwar, Javed and Mudassir, are also missing and believed to have joined the LeT, sources said.
While those radicalised by Kashmir-based overground workers were joining LeT, others were joining Hizbul group led by Jahangir Saroori in Kishtwar district. Saroori, the longest surviving militant who joined militancy in 1991, appears to have become active and is trying to recruit local youth so as to revive militant activity in the district, sources added.
The Chenab Valley comprising Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts was declared free of militancy in 2011.
Earlier this month, Kishtwar police arrested an active militant along with an overground worker, and claimed to have foiled a drive to recruit local youth by Hizbul.