Even though ground situation in Kashmir tells a different story, Kashmir’s security grid hopes that the Sunday’s toll of thirteen local militants in three separate encounters would setback the local recruitment in militancy.
The encounters, according to the police, were deadliest in eight years. “Actually militants provided enough time for the forces to take them on,” sources in the police said.
Now police expects the operation to contribute to stopping the recruitment of local youth in militancy.
“We hope that the encounter acts a message to our young boys that violence is not good for them,” J&K’s police chief Shesh Paul Vaid told Greater Kashmir. “I hope that the parents of the boys, whose children have chosen the wrong path, would also support us in bringing them back. I reiterate that it’s painful to see local boys getting killed in encounters”.
Army too believes that the casualties suffered by the militants would pause the local militant recruitment. “For the time being, no big group of militants would assemble at one place,” said a senior army official posted in South Kashmir. “We expect a temporary decline in local militant recruitment. But those acting as a motivational force for the young boys can’t remain silent for long”.
Inspector general of Central Reserve Police Force (operations), Zulfikar Hassan said Sunday’s encounter should obviously “act as a lesson” for the local militants.
“These boys should realize that there is life beyond encounters and there are other fields where they can excel,” he said.
However, many Kashmir observers think that Sunday’s killings won’t make much of a difference “in the long term”.
A senior journalist said the claims of a setback to Kashmir militancy flew in the face of the trajectory of Kashmir militancy over the past three decades. “The Operation All-Out killed 218 militants last year. But the number of the active militants in Valley has remained by and large unchanged,” he said, preferring not to be named. “So, killing militants would hardly bring peace. What will is the resolution of the factors underpinning the conflict in the state”.