Nearly 75% of the militants killed in the Kashmir Valley this year were locals. Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik said that though the priority was to kill Pakistan-trained terrorists, a large number of locals were killed as they had joined the ranks of terrorists.
According to police data, of the 101 terrorists killed in the Valley so far, 76 were locals.
This is the first time in more than two decades that the number of locals killed in police encounters is more than that of the foreign terrorists.
Last year, of the 246 terrorists killed in police encounters, 60%, or 150, were locals.
Mr. Malik, who was in Delhi to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday, told The Hindu, “there is fatigue and frustration among the terrorists. If you recall, after Burhan Wani was killed in 2016, there was unrest for more than three months. A few days ago, [Zakir] Musa was killed [and] there was no impact even for three days.”
Zakir Rashid Bhat alias Musa was the chief of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGuH).
After former Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in a police encounter on June 8, 2016, militancy-related incidents spiked in the Valley, and hundreds of youth joined terror groups in the past three years.
A shutdown was imposed on south Kashmir and other parts last month after Musa was killed by security forces in an encounter. Musa, considered a “mini icon” in the Valley after Wani, was active in and around Pulwama.
A senior police officer said there had been a sharp decline in militant recruitments this year.
As reported earlier, till May 25 this year, 33 locals had joined various terror groups, while 200 were recruited in 2018.