Srinagar: Army on Tuesday said there has been a spurt in the number of youths taking to the path of militancy in Kashmir valley over the last two years.
"The figure (of local youth joining militancy) is little over 40, same as the last year.
"But it is definitely more than 2013 and 2012... Yes, to that extent there is an increase and it is something of concern for all the agencies here," General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt Gen Subrata Saha told reporters at a function here.
The Army commander said the infiltration attempts have intensified as 19 militants were killed in nearly a dozen bids along the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir this year.
"This year, the snow got delayed. Since then there have been 11 attempts of infiltration. To that extent, there is an increase in the intensity and in these attempts, 19 infiltrators were eliminated," he said.
Referring to the two infiltration attempts in Kupwara district last week which left an army Jawan and two infiltrators dead, he said the confrontations with the infiltrators in Keran and Tanggadhar sectors happened almost at the same time.
"Last week, we had two confrontations almost at the same time. One in Keran sector and the other in Tangadhar sector. The confrontation in Tangadhar operation is still on," he said.
Asked about a hike in anti-militancy operations in south Kashmir, he said "it is nothing unusual".
"The operations continue, but there are periods when the movement (of militants) increases. And when that happens, the intensity of our operations increases naturally. We understand that it is very much a part of the same trend. It is related to increase in the movement," he said.
On the media reports about Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) plan to hijack a civilian aeroplane to seek the release of its jailed members, Lt Gen Saha said the Army is prepared to meet any challenge.
"We are prepared to face any challenge that comes up," he said.