New Delhi, July 31:

As many as 87 local youths have joined militancy in Jammu and Kashmir so far in 2018, Union Minister Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said Tuesday.

He said after imposition of Governor’s rule in the state on 20 June, 12 youths were reported to have disappeared and later joined militancy.

“Eighty-seven youths have joined militancy in 2018 (till July 20) in the four districts of South Kashmir – Anantnag (14), Pulwama (35), Shopian (23), Kulgam (15),” Ahir said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.

“The union minister of state for home said the government regularly reviews the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir. In order to prevent activities of militants, numerous steps have been taken, including strengthening of the operational grid with enhanced human intelligence and use of technical intelligence grid,” Ahir said.

“The government has also continuously encouraged policies to mainstream the youth, including providing employment opportunities to wean them away from militancy,” he said.

The minister said that in 2018, till 22 July, 110 terrorist were killed by security forces, while 18 civilians died in militancy-related violence in Jammu and Kashmir.

“In 2017, 213 terrorist were killed and 40 civilians died in terror incidents,” he said.