Educated Youth Aren’t Joining Militancy: DGP

Educated Youth Aren’t Joining Militancy: DGP

14 June 2013
Rising Kashmir


Srinagar: Terming the involvement and killings of educated militants in recent encounters as an aberration, Director General of Police (DGP) Ashok Prasad Friday said initial investigations have revealed that educated youth were not joining militancy. He said no restrictions were imposed on religious rights of Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani and claimed that 200 militants were active in the State. “Of late there has been some concern about the phenomenon of highly educated youth joining militancy. This matter has been taken seriously at highest level in the police and administration. Police is conducting an inquiry and preliminary investigations have revealed that educated youth were not joining militancy. No such phenomenon exists,” Prasad told a local news gathering agency KNS. Stating that these projections have not been substantiated so far, he said these will be probed in depth. “There is no phenomenon that educated people are suddenly taking up arms or that there is a great deal of motivation for educated people to join militancy. It was an aberration that in few cases the dead militants turned out to be educated. All the militants killed recently were active from past some time and there is nothing new in it”, DGP said. He, however, admitted that recently a militant killed in a gunfight had a technical degree. “His reason for joining militancy has more to do with the fact that his friends and family members have been militants. Another militant had completed his matric and attempted to get a diploma in engineering in a private institute but failed.” “In fact in grenade throwing incidents in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, profile of arrested youth indicates that most of them belong to extremely poor families with very low level of education. They had joined militancy only to secure their livelihood. The inquiries are going on and details of the militants killed in recent gunfights would be made available to public in due course of time,” he said. Asked about curbs on Hurriyat (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani, DGP said there were only reasonable restrictions on his movement. “There were no restrictions on his religious rights. He is not being stopped from offering prayers. If he goes to Hyderpora mosque, nobody stops him or for that matter nobody stops him from going to Delhi,” he said. Prasad said basically the issue of restriction on any religious activity does not arise. “However, when the religious platform is likely to be misused for the purpose of spreading hatred or politics, do you think it should be permitted specially when it is going to violate the rights of others and lead to law and order situation?. He (Geelani) addresses people on telephone and nobody stops him. He has religious freedom with reasonable restrictions”. Dismissing reports of escalation in militancy in the State, DGP said, “There was 30 per cent reduction in militancy related incidents this year. Militancy is on a decline and the downward trend is continuing”. He said there was a concerted and series of attacks on forces in the recent months and it should not be read as an alarm. “These attacks and deaths of security men took place due to operational laxity on part of forces”. Asked about number of militants present in the State, Prasad said as per police assessment around 200 militants were present in the State. “Number of militants is roughly around 160 to 180 in the valley and about 20 to 25 in Jammu region. 10 to 12 militants are important commanders, who are backbone of militancy. When a commander is arrested or killed, the task becomes easier for us and the rest of the group disappears”. On removal of bunkers from the city, DGP said the government and security establishment were continuously working on the policy to reduce footprints of security men from residential areas of the valley. “CRPF will vacate the hotels under their occupation as soon as alternate accommodation becomes available for them,” he said. He said 8 to 9 hotels were presently under occupation of CRPF and they were trying to find alternate accommodation or land for their hosting. The DGP, however, refused to comment on controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act. “My stand is that DGP is not competent to speak on the issue. It will be decided by the government and the police have actually no role in it,” he added.