New Delhi: Indicative of the new trend in the Valley of local youth getting attracted to indigenous militant movements, the Hizbul Mujahideen has replaced Lashkar-e-Toiba as the most dominant terror out in Kashmir.
While almost all members of Hizbul are from Kashmir, a majority of LeT operatives are Pakistanis.
As per a report in The Hindu, about 200 militants are currently operating in the state. Of them, 80 owe allegiance to the Hizbul Mujahideen. LeT has 60 operative sin the state, the majority of them being Pakistani nationals.
The security agencies are seeing the shift as a warning given the changing dynamics of militancy in the restive state as it may the first sign of the attractiveness of the militant path to local youth.
Other than the Hizbul and LeT, all other terror outfits are operating in the fringes. The likes of once feared Al Badar and Jaish-e-Mohammed are now down to less than dozen of active members.
The report further adds that the rapid rise Hizbul's strength came after about 60 young men from the valley join the group in recent months.
As per police officers in the valley, the new recruits are not necessarily driven by Islamic ideology7 but are mostly those who have grievances and may have become dejected about their future given lack of employment opportunity in the state.
Also, Hizbu's growth may also suggest that Pakistan may have changed tact and has now decided to support local groups to take up anti-India activities rather than risk sending militants across the heavily guarded border.