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Concerns Over ‘Hybrid Militancy’ Highlighted by Arrest of Youth in Jammu and Kashmir Without Prior Record

IndiaConcerns Over 'Hybrid Militancy' Highlighted by Arrest of Youth in Jammu and Kashmir Without Prior Record

Jammu and Kashmir Police Arrests Youth with No Previous Militancy Record for Alleged Involvement in Non-Local Killings, Highlighting Concerns Over “Hybrid Militancy”

The recent arrest by Jammu and Kashmir police of a youth with no prior record of militancy has brought attention to the issue of “hybrid militants,” which is becoming a growing concern for security agencies.

The arrested individual, identified as Aadil Manzoor Langoo from Srinagar, is accused of involvement in the killing of two Punjabi migrant workers, Amritpal Singh and Rohit Masi, on February 7. This incident marked the first attack on non-locals this year. According to reports, Aadil was radicalized online by handlers based in Pakistan. Police have recovered the pistol allegedly used in the crime.

“Hybrid militants” are individuals who disguise themselves as civilians to carry out violent activities. The term gained prominence after the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in 2019. Security forces have apprehended or neutralized several such militants. However, these incidents have sometimes led to protests, with families of the accused claiming innocence. Despite this, many perceive “hybrid militants” as a strategy to target Kashmiris, although security forces assert the necessity of their actions.

Aadil’s purported involvement underscores why militancy-related incidents persist despite a decrease in the number of known militants in recent months.

Vijay Kumar, additional director-general of police, stated that Aadil and his family had no previous links to militancy. He emphasized that Aadil was radicalized through social media, despite regularly attending mosque and showing leanings towards the Ahli Hadees sect of Islam.

Kumar urged parents and teachers to monitor children and notify authorities of any behavioral changes. He emphasized the difficulty in detecting such activities, given the digital landscape, but noted that most such modules are intercepted, albeit with a few evading capture.

In December, police uncovered a plot involving “hybrid militants” targeting off-duty policemen in Srinagar. This revelation followed the arrest of three individuals involved in an attack on off-duty constable Mohammad Hafeez Chak in Srinagar’s Bemina area, amidst a series of targeted attacks on policemen during their leisure time.

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