Jammu,Apr 14:As part of its counter-strategy, Army and police have launched a massive youth outreach programme in the Chenab valley amid continuous attempts by Pakistan-based militant leaders to look for new recruits and revive militancy in the Jammu region, security officials said on Friday.
The outreach programme was chalked out after security agencies pointed towards a new strategy being adopted by terrorist handlers to radicalise youths in Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban, the three districts that form the Chenab valley, the officials said.
Over the past couple of months, they said, there has been a spurt in cross-border phone calls with militant commanders — mostly locals who fled across the border sometime back — making desperate attempts to rope in gullible youths.
“More than 80 youths have been put under surveillance in the three districts, 60 questioned and 11 booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act as part of the counter-strategy,” an officer told PTI.
He said questioning the youths revealed that most of them have relatives across the border.
“The calls are made to radicalise and motivate the youths to join militant ranks. We are keeping a close watch to ensure that no youth is misled by the propaganda as Pakistan-based militant groups are trying to overcome dwindling support,” the officer said.
Over the past year, security forces have busted several modules in the Jammu region and most of the arrested persons were acting at the behest of their handlers from across the border, mostly the local terrorists who have been operating from there.
As many as 118 militants from Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda are based in Pakistan and PoK, of whom 10 are most active and are attempting to spread militancy in the region by recruiting the youth, the officer said.–(PTI)