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ISI, militant groups resort to Cyber recruitment in JK: Officials

By PTI

Srinagar, Jan 03: Pakistan’s intelligence agency and militant groups are now carrying out recruitment in Jammu and Kashmir using applications in cyber and mobile space as direct physical interactions have become difficult due to the security forces’ hawk-eyed vigil, officials said on Sunday.


Fake videos of alleged atrocities committed by the security forces and building a false narrative are now often used by the ISI handlers from Pakistan to whip up emotions among the new recruits, they said, citing intelligence reports and technical surveillance.


Earlier, militant sympathisers used to establish physical contact with the prospective recruits to bring them into a militant group’s rank and files.However, after security agencies cracked down on such sympathisers, they changed their modus operandi.


In 2020, over two dozen modules were busted by security agencies leading to the arrest of over 40 such sympathisers.


Two surrendered militants, Tawar Waghey and Amir Ahmed Mir, who laid down their arms before 34 Rashtriya Rifles of the Army late last month, had given an insight into their joining of militant modules that showed that cyber recruitment was being carried out on a large scale.


Both the militants had come in contact with a Pakistan-based handler via Facebook who indoctrinated them before handing them over to a recruiter code-named Khalid and Mohammed Abbas Sheikh.


The two militants were provided training online using various links available on public platforms like YouTube and both of them had met their local contact only once in Shopian in south Kashmir, the officials said.


This, according to the officials, is done to avoid exposure of sleeper cells created by Pakistan’s ISI within the valley. Security agencies have busted several modules following intelligence inputs provided by local residents.


The two militants, after being recruited into The Resistance Front (TRF), which is believed to be a shadow outfit of banned group Lashkar-e-Taiba, were receiving orders as well as religious teachings from Pakistan-based Burhan Hamza. The officials said there were around 40 such cases where the recruitment was done and indoctrination carried out through social media, especially in south Kashmir.


The new recruits were awaiting orders from across the border. Militant groups are definitely facing a shortage of arms and that is one of the reasons why Pakistan-based outfits are more focused on sending more arms and less manpower, the officials said.


They gave an example of last month’s encounter on the outskirts of Jammu city where a valley-bound group of four militants was carrying 11 assault rifles and a huge quantity of ammunition.


The death of a 22-year-old local militant Amir Siraj in north Kashmir late last month was yet another case of cyber recruitment, the officials said.


A final year graduation student from Khawaja Gilgat in Sopore, Siraj was staying with his maternal uncle in Adipora in north Kashmir and would spend most of his afternoons playing football in the local ground.


He went missing on the afternoon of June 24, 2020.
Later, it was found that he had been recruited by militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed from across the border via social media, the officials said.


The local militants had expressed his desire to surrender but was threatened by his accomplice that he and his family would be killed if he were to act on it, they said.

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Spike in COVID-19 Cases: JK govt defers Annual Darbar move for ‘safety’ of employees

Secretariat to function both in Srinagar and Jammu, office function not to affect due to e-office’

(Asian News Hub) – The Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday said that the Darbar move has been deferred while the secretariat will function in both Srinagar and Jammu to ensure the safety of the employees in view of rising number of Covid-19 cases in the Union Territory.

Office of the Jammu and Kashmir Lt, Governor on it official Twitter handle said that the in view of sharply rising cases of COVID in J&K, the government has taken few important decisions to ensure the safety of the employees.

It said that the Darbar move has been deferred because of COVID while the secretariat will function in both Srinagar and Jammu and office functioning will not to be affected because of e-office.

“As J&K is witnessing surge in number of Covid cases, the threat it poses to people/ staff on the move and the implementation of eOffice in both the Secretariat, in move offices, it has been decided to defer the #DarbarMove this time,” the Tweet reads.

In another Tweet it said “However, Secretariat will function in both Srinagar & Jammu with staff equitably split between two Secretaries will function from both locations in an equitable manner Office functioning will not be affected as files to move electronically between both Secretariats in eOffice.”

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Rope in private hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients: DAK to authorities

(Asian News Hub) – As Covid-19 cases continue to rise unabated in Jammu and Kashmir, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Thursday urged authorities to rope in private hospitals to treat corona patients. ​

“That would reduce the burden on government run hospitals,” said DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan.

“We are back in the eye of the storm, with the second wave of Covid-19 causing surge in cases and hospitalizations too,” he said.

“Virus has once again become dangerous and is behaving aggressively.”

“Today we have more patients in hospitals than what we saw during the first wave and we are finding it hard to cope with the rush of patients,” DAK President said.

“Hospitals are running full and are at the risk of becoming overwhelmed. Patients are struggling to get a bed in ICU. Even oxygen support beds are occupied and patients have to use cylinders to maintain their oxygen levels.”

“We should include private hospitals in the fight against Covid-19,” he said.

“There is an urgent need for private hospitals to take part in the management of Covid-19 patients.”

“That would ease the pressure on public hospitals, and would relieve the strained staff,” Dr Nisar said.

“For the past few weeks, cases have started rising and is now starting to reflect in the rising number of hospitalization.”

“The number is expected to rise further in coming days as there are still massive number of people in the population who are susceptible to the virus,” he said.

Hospitals should prepare for dealing with any eventuality,” Dr Nisar said.

“Public safety will depend on hospital preparedness.”

“Hospitals should have separate negative pressure isolation wards for corona patients,” he said.

“The negative pressure would prevent contaminated air from escaping the ward. These wards should have dedicated ventilators and HEPA filters that would reduce the risk of transmission of the virus. They should have separate entrance so that infected patients don’t risk other patients and staff in the hospital.”

“In order to ensure safe environment for patients, hospitals should adopt strict infection prevention and control measures and vaccination to staff,” said Dr Nisar.

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Beating of student in Pvt Coaching centre: CCAK constitutes committee to inquire matter

(Asian News Hub) – Following the incident of beating a student in Hope Classes, Coaching Centres Association of Kashmir (CCAK) on Wednesday constitutes a Committe to inquire the matter.

CCAK has termed the incident unfortunate and has expressed disappointment over the incident.

“It is unfortunate that such an incident has happened. The Association constituted a committee to look into the matter and recommend measures so that such incidents do not happen in future,” CCAK said in an statement.

It also states that the Association however is cautioning people especially social media users not to get swayed with the video without full knowledge.

“We condemn the incident but people should not read into it too much. Unfortunately a witch hunt has been launched by people against the teacher and the coaching institute, both of whom are known for their reputation,” CCAK spokesperson said.

The Association said that it will soon come out with guidelines to prevent such incidents.

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