Nearly 67 local recruits have joined militancy since renewed insurgency fuelled by the death of Hizbul Mujaheddin commander Burhan Wani in July last year. Of the total recruits, 63 are below the age of 30 including two 16-year-olds and one 15-year-old, Indian Express reported citing data compiled by security agencies.What is more striking is that these new set of militants are young and well-educated. Apart from a PhD, an M Phil degree holder and two post-graduates, there are six graduates and five who were pursuing engineering and technical courses: two B Tech, one BE (Computer Science), one Polytechnic student and one diploma student in computer science. Also there are eight who were pursuing a Bachelor’s degree. Ten others have completed Class 12; a dozen have completed matriculation; three have studied in madarssa, including a Hafiz/Imam; and, the rest have studied until high school. Of them, only three have never gone to school.
Of the total militants, 50 are from south Kashmir, Wani’ native region- including nine from Pulwama district, nine from Awantipora (including Tral), 13 from Kulgam, 11 from Shopian, eight from Anantnag while 8 fresh recuits have joined militancy from North Kashmir: two from Kupwara, one from Handwara, three from Bandipore and two from Sopore, five have joined from central Kashmir, the daily said in the report. The security agencies also disclosed that 47 among these new local recruits have joined Hizbul Mujahideen, 18 are with Lashkar and the allegiance of two is unknown.
Here we have profiled the education qualification and age of new crop of militants
Sajad Ahmad Wani, a 15-year-old Class 9 student from Bandipore, is the youngest among the new crop of militants. Police say he went missing on October 17 and is suspected to have joined militancy.
There are three recycled militants also. Mohammad Ashraf Khan (36) of Tangpawa, Kokernag in Anantnag, and Showkat Ahmad Dar from Awantipora rejoined the militancy in September 9 last year.
The one Phd holder (Arabic language) in this group was Azhar-ud-din Khan, a 27-year-old from Kupwara. He was killed in a police operation on February 4, 2017. Azhar was a lecturer on contract at a higher secondary school in Handwara but went underground in April last year.
29-year-old Sabzar Ahmad Sofi from Anantnag has an M Phil degree. He joined the LeT on August 21, 2016.
Then there is 25-year-old Mohammad Younis Lone from Hawoorah Qaimoh, who had two Master’s degrees (Sociology and Islamic Studies). He joined Hizbul Mujahideen in February 2017 but got killed within a month in an encounter at Yaripora.
22-year-old Asif Nazir Dar of Awantipora, a BE student in Computer Sciences, joined Hizbul Mujahideen on January 4. Mohammad Qasim Shah, 23 a final-year B.Tech student in Ambala, Punjab also joined Hizbul Mujahideen on March 3, Rayees Ahmad Dar (21), of Dangar Mohalla Kakpora Pulwama had completed his B.Tech when he joined LeT on October 7, 2016. He was killed in an encounter in Kakopora in November last year. Then there is Basit Rasool Dar (22) of Magraypora Marhama, Bijbehara, who was pursuing a BE in Civil Engineering when he joined the militancy on October 21, 2016.